Women at senior levels improving, except for the top job, pay inequity reducing, but board representation stagnant

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) released its annual research analysing pay inequity on Tuesday 13 November 2018.

Consistent with prior year results (see HERE), the proportion of women in ASX 300 company boardrooms is stagnant, and the proportion of CEOs who are women is low.

However, there is good news:

  • The drop in pay inequality is the largest ever recorded;
  • There has been a steady increase in women in leadership positions; and
  • The increase in women occupying executive KMP positions has been the largest ever recorded

A summary of key findings for the 2017-18 financial year, and five-year trends is below.

Gender pay gap

  • The total remuneration gender pay gap is 21.3%
  • ’Biggest single year drop in the total remuneration gender pay gap since WGEA started collecting data
  • It has declined every year (down 3.4pp over 5 years from 24.7% to 21.3%)
  • The Construction pay gap increased 2.0pp to 29.4%. It now has the second-highest industry gender pay gap
  • The pay gap in favour of men increased for the second year in a row in the female- dominated industry of Health Care and Social Assistance (up to 16.1%)

Employer action

  • Very positive results in employer action on pay equity
  • 17pp increase over five years in the number employers doing a pay gap analysis (up from 24.0% to 41.6%)’
  • ’ 22pp increase over five years in the number of employers having pay equity objectives in their remuneration strategy or policy (up from 18% to 40%)
  • Strong growth in employers implementing gender equality policies and strategies
  • 8.1pp increase over five years in employers with an overall gender equality strategy and/or policy (up from 66.2% to 74.3%)
  • 13.2 pp increase over five years in KPIs for managers relating to gender equality (up to 31.3%) but this lags behind the other indicators.

Women in management and leadership

  • Another positive result over five years is the steady increase in the number of women in leadership roles. There have been increases in all manager categories
  • 3.2pp increase over five years in women managers overall (up from 35.9% to 39.1%)
  • Key management personnel (KMP) has seen the biggest growth of any management category (up 4.4pp over five years from 26.1% to 30.5%)

Parental leave and flexible work

  • Access to employer-funded primary carer’s leave has not improved (down 0.7pp over five years to 47.8%)
  • More employers are promoting flexible work (up 13.2pp over five years to 70.7%)

Lack of women at CEO and Board level

  • The glass ceiling is still a barrier for women at top leadership levels
  • ’Only a 1.4pp increase over five years in the number of female CEOs (up from 15.7% to 17.1%)
  • Only a 2.1pp increase over five years in the number of female board directors (up from 23.7% to 25.8%)

See HERE and HERE for more information from the WGEA, and benchmark your company’s report against the national standards HERE

© Guerdon Associates 2024
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