This fact sheet has been compiled primarily from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) average weekly earnings data set, that calculates the average full-time weekly earnings before tax of men and women, excluding factors such as overtime and pay that is salary sacrificed. Where data were unavailable from average weekly earnings (such as occupation), these data were sourced from the ABS Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership survey.
The gender pay gap is the difference between the average of all female and all male earnings expressed as a percentage of male earnings. Because the gender pay gap does not take into account part-time workers’ earnings, it gives us a value that is comparing like with like. A number of often interrelated factors contribute to the gender pay gap including women working in different industries than men (known as industrial segregation); the over-representation of women in low-paying occupations while being under-represented in others (known as occupational segregation), the undervaluation of women’s skills; and career breaks taken by women to have and raise children. Institutional influences, such as the sector you work in and the way your pay is set also play a role. Additionally, a significant proportion of the gender pay gap is unexplained and this is widely considered to represent the effect of direct gender discrimination.