Australia’s gender pay gap debate continues

A new survey conducted by HR and payroll solutions provider ADP has found that gender pay gap problem still persists.

The ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View report highlights the fact that women’s salary increases in Australia are failing to keep up with men’s, a trend that is predicted to continue in the year ahead.

According to the survey, Australian pay rises in the past 12 months averaged 5.7 per cent for men, compared to only 4.4 per cent for women. In the next 12 months, men expect to see their pay increase by an average of 6.3 per cent while women foresee an increase of just 5.2 per cent.

Because of this, 60 per cent of women perceive themselves as being underpaid for their work compared to 56 per cent of men.

“Despite the ongoing discussions regarding the gender pay gap, this data demonstrates that the disparity continues,” Kylie Baullo, Managing Director ANZ at ADP, said. “This is particularly worrisome given the current economic challenges Australian workers are facing across all industries. People are grappling with genuine financial difficulties including the in utility prices and interest rates, and it is disheartening that women are not being paid in a way that enables them to contribute equally to household expenses.

“With Equal Pay Day falling on 25 August it is an opportunity for employers to assess any existing inconsistencies and inequalities in employee pay,” Baullo added. “In doing so, employers can create a more equitable work environment, enhance staff morale and engagement, retain talent and ultimately drive organisational success.”

Older Australian workers also believe they’ll be overlooked by their employers when it comes to pay rise and bonus awards in the year ahead. In fact, 58 per cent of Australian Generation Zs (18-24-year-olds) expect to receive a pay rise in their current company in the next 12 months, compared to only 34 per cent of those aged 55 and over. Similarly, 21 per cent of Gen Z believe they’re in line for a bonus, compared to 16 per cent of those approaching retirement age.

“Failing to recognise the value of experienced workers is likely to have long-term consequences,” Baullo warned. “Overlooking these individuals may lead to the loss of vital knowledge and skills as they seek better pay and conditions elsewhere.”