Can we start by saying, nothing bad happens when women receive equal pay as their male colleagues.
So, what exactly is the gender pay gap (GPG) and how does it affect our sisters, mums, aunties and every single woman in your life?
Well, the GPG is influenced by a number of factors like:
• discrimination and bias in hiring and pay decisions
• women and men working in different industries and different jobs, with female-dominated industries and jobs attracting lower wages
• women’s disproportionate share of unpaid caring and domestic work
• lack of workplace flexibility to accommodate caring and other responsibilities, especially in senior roles
• women’s greater time out of the workforce impacting career progression and opportunities.
According to the Australian Governments Workplace Gender Equality Agency, and as of May this year the Gender Pay Gap is sitting at around 14% meaning the full-time average weekly earnings for a man is $1,812.00 while women are only taking home on average $1,588.40 per week.
And while Australia’s national gender pay gap has hovered around the 14% to 22% for the past two decades, we have seen a decrease of 0.7pp in the gender pay gap since May 2017, we believe that it’s still not good enough.
According to an article by the ABC in June, this year women have also been hit the hardest during Covid with research by The Australia Institute confirming that between March and April, the number of women employed fell 5.3 per cent compared to 3.9 per cent for men. At the same time, the Government has announced an end to free child care and the removal of the JobKeeper wage subsidy for childcare operators. It’s been dubbed the “pink recession” and these numbers are on the rise and concerning, to say the least.
Whilst we agree that traditionally (well prior to the first world war in 1914) that the men were predominantly the “breadwinners” whilst the women’s role as the “homemaker” it seems that some people are still stuck in that mentality. It’s 2020 and time to wake up!
Our economy is now based on both partners working to afford the bills, education, food on the table and a home loan close to good schools and parks for our children to play. Our economy is so consumer-driven that in many instances you can barely survive unless the husband and wife (wife and wife/ husband and husband) are both working. Women in most cases are juggling being full-time mothers, managing the home and working full time. It’s no wonder we rip off our bras when we get home, pour a big glass of red and pray for this god damn day to be over.
But on a serious note, the data doesn’t lie and it shows that we are being taken for granted, and it has to stop, we are campaigning for equality, which we bloody deserve. Let’s take a look at Lisa Wilkinson who graced our screens on channel 9’s Today show for almost a decade, she abruptly left today when her pay demands weren’t met and why shouldn’t she have?
Stefanovic was on a whopping $2m a year while she was only offered $1.8m and while I agree earning that sort of money would only be a dream for most of you reading this article what Wilkinson faced reflects the broader issue that sees women earning less than men, in Wilkinson’s industry, television broadcasting, which is 47% female overall but 100% male at the CEO level, the full-time gender pay gap is 21.6%. How does this happen? And how do we continue as a nation to sweep it under the carpet?
Let me explain to you what lower lifetime earnings mean for women, it ultimately means, less security financially, less independence and less super for women to retire on meaning we have to rely more heavily on welfare or here’s the clincher; a man (or partner). Did you know that single women over the age of 55 are the fastest-growing homeless demographic in Australia, so I implore you to ask yourself, how did we get here?
We’re not asking for more, we’re asking for fair.
At Stella we are a female-founded/led business, so supporting our soul sisters and empowering our fellow girl gang is high on the Stella list. As a business we get it, the insurance game is so male-dominated and women aren’t marketed to nor sitting in CEO positions at any of the Car Insurance companies. So, we changed that and from here Stella was born. We are happy to talk to the tough stuff, and advocating for equal pay is important to us as a whole.
So, to everyone reading this, thank you for taking the time to educate yourself on a real issue that is facing every single female in your life, from your mother to your sister to your partner or future partner. This isn’t a witch hunt, nor a negative nod to males but instead, we are here to celebrate the men and women who champion the equality and empowerment of women.
So, stand next to us, support us and educate your friends about the importance of fairness regarding pay within the workplace. I have no doubt in my mind that together we can change the world, even if it is one payslip at a time.