Industry’s latest scorecard on gender equality

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency has released its latest scorecard for the 2018-2019 reporting period. How does industry fare?

More employers are embracing flexible work, greater access to paid parental leave and adopting policies to support employees experiencing family and domestic violence.

More employers are also conducting pay equity audits and showing greater gender balance in promotions. However, gender balance at CEO and Board levels remains static.

The gender pay gap is also steadily narrowing. At base salary levels, the gender pay gap sits at 15.5% down from 16.2% the previous year and down from just under 20% in 2014. When you include total remuneration however, the gap is more stark at 20.8%, suggesting that the role of discretionary pay, such as bonuses, tends to increase gender pay gaps.

At an industry level, the industries with the largest gender pay gaps based on total remuneration were financial and insurance services (29.3%), rental hiring and real estate services (26.9%) and construction (26.0%).

Ai Group has previously explained gender pay gaps and outlined the economic reasons why the gender pay gap must be narrowed. There are an array of initiatives employers can engage in to narrow gender pay gaps within their organisations.

Emerging trends

Flexible work arrangements are key ways in which employers can maximise retention of talent and recruit from pockets of the labour market not previously targeted.

Flexible work continues to be mainstreamed in organisations as technology enables a wider range of choice about how people may perform their job and from where; it is not just a return-to-work pathway for employees who have been on parental leave. WGEA’s results show that just under 80% of reporting employers now promote flexible work throughout their organisations and that 71.3% of leaders are now visible role models.

Parental leave and workplace support for all parents is also receiving a greater focus in industry with recent high-profile examples of employers providing paid parental leave for employees regardless of whether they are a “primary” or “secondary” carer. WGEA’s results also show the slight increase in men taking parental leave (and a corresponding decrease in women taking such leave). Parental leave policies take careful planning and for those organisations looking for some guidance, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s Parental Leave Guides are a useful resource.

Does your business have a gender diversity strategy?

Accordingly to WGEA, 75% of reporting businesses currently have a gender diversity strategy or policy. If your business is looking at where to start, or wants to build improvement, WGEA’s new Gender Equality Strategy Guide contains some useful models.

Further support from Ai Group

Ai Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Network connects businesses to share best practice diversity initiatives and workshop challenges. We provide:

  • insights on industry trends;
  • workplace regulatory updates impacting inclusion strategies; and
  • share quality resources and Government incentives to build workforce capability through diversity.

Enquire here about joining Ai Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Network:

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As Ai Group's National Manager – Workplace Relations Policy, Nicola is involved in employment test cases and law reform affecting the workplaces of industry. She regularly appears in the Fair Work Commission and Government Inquiries on behalf of Ai Group members, and has many years of “on the ground” strategic experience in advising employers in employment law and people & culture strategies.

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