What Does Equal Pay Day Mean For You?

September 4, 2017

Today marks an important, yet sad day in the calendar of Australian women. 


Given that we STILL get paid 15.3% less (that’s a decrease of only 0.9% over the past year) than our male counterparts in most industries, today is the day that marks the additional time from the end of the previous financial year that women must work to earn the same as men.


Am I crazy, or does this just make no sense at all?


I have personally experienced the pay gap in all its glory whilst working for a large corporation. I was earning $20K less than my male counterpart and, when I raised the issue, I was told that it was nonsense. My male counterpart had disclosed his salary to me thinking that, since we were on the same level, I would be receiving the same amount as him...naturally of course! Little did he know and he was horrified when he found out. 


We worked in a culture where you weren't supposed to disclose your salary to anyone however, so, when I raised this as an issue I was told that I should feel grateful for the opportunity that was presented to me. I am far from alone in this story unfortunately, if I was, perhaps it would be a less bitter pill to swallow. 


There are so many stats out there surrounding Equal Pay Day that I thought I would gather those that stand out to me personally and suggest what you can do to help make a change.

  • Men earn approximately $251.20 more per week on average than women and as much as $700K more over the course of a career. Photo Credit: Workplace Gender Equality Agency


  • Only 27% of Australian employers analyse their payroll for gaps. Becoming aware and accountable for any gaps in pay is a very important start for any company.
    Ask your employer today if they analyse their payroll for any pay gaps.


  • Women over the age of 55 make up the fastest growing group of homeless Australians. 

  • On average, women retire with 52.8% less retirement savings than men according to the Association of Super Funds of Australia. This takes into account the lesser earnings that women receive over their career and the time taken off work to have and raise children.
    Even if it’s a couple of extra dollars per pay cycle, try and make personal contributions to your super and shop around. Find the best super product for you - the fund that your employer selects for you may not be the best option.

    DID YOU KNOW that you may be eligible to claim a tax deduction for all or part of the personal super contributions you have made to your super fund? Chat to your accountant or financial advisor for more information or check out https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/Deductions-you-can-claim/Other-deductions/Personal-super-contributions/

    Discuss who will take time off work with your partner. Does your partner’s workplace offer paid paternity leave? Is there the option to alternate the time taken off work between the two of you so that they can take over parenting duties for a period of time?


  • For women 20 years and under, the pay gap is 5.7%, it's 12% between the ages of 21 and 44, 20% between the ages of 45-55 and 17% for women aged 55 years and over. #NoWords

  • NOT SO FUN FACT: Women only represent a third of all employed musicians in Australia and have been recognised far less than their male counterparts. Out of 367 musicians featured in the Triple J Hottest 100 only 20 were female and only 11 female artists have been inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. Leadership positions within the industry are currently sitting at 83% male and a vast majority of technical
    roles within the industry are also held by men.

  • Support the brilliant Aussie female artists within the industry by buying their music (she types as she listens to some classic Kate Ceberano for inspiration).

  • 57.4% of managerial roles are going to men. 
    Actively apply for managerial roles. Women are more likely to only apply for jobs where they meet all the criteria or "preferred skills". Men will generally apply for a role when they possess only some of the criteria. Have faith in your ability and demonstrate how you meet the criteria in other ways or express your willingness to learn on the job. Employers may have an ultimate wish list, but if you make your application stand out and show your eagerness for a role, then you might just score that interview and, ultimately, the role of your dreams!


  • 3 out of 4 part-time employees are women. 

  • Increasing divorce rates are also negatively affecting women financially when they are left stranded after dividing assets. 


I've deep dived into reading the many articles published today on this issue but especially want to send a shout out to Kasey Edwards for writing this piece for the Sydney Morning Herald that delves into the excuse often made by employers that roles are awarded based on "merit".




What are you doing to recognise #EqualPayDay? Has the gender gap affected you personally? Comment here.






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