While most western nations can claim gender bias is not practiced or at least is not glaringly visible in their workplaces, Australia could be an exception, for the salary differences among similarly qualified men and women is noticeable.
Not withstanding the gender bias, more Australian women than men are taking admission at university, according to a new study that found particularly more glaring differences in salary at higher levels of qualification.
The study conducted by the Australian Centre for Educational Research also found that the pay of higher education graduates was more than 50 percent higher than workers without a degree.
The research surveyed 400,000 from 40 universities on the core aspects of their university experience. The research found that Australia had a huge pool of university qualified people, a level that Australia attained recently in comparison to some of the western nations that have had high attainment levels for generations.
Australia was also among some of those few nations where females made up more than 50 percent of new university students between 1998 and 2009. Yet, regretfully, women with tertiary qualification earned about 72 percent of what men with similar qualifications earned. This is a huge gap when compared to some of the advanced western nations like Germany, New Zealand and UK.
Although Australia may not be alone on the discriminatory workforce practices, it is the level of earning difference between men and women with same qualification that is perhaps not replicated in a number of other countries, and hence is a cause of concern.
Katy Bryant had to quit the film project she was making about the wage gap because after working on the project for a year, she discovered she couldn’t raise enough to support the film, her dog and herself. However, she recommends taking a cue from the success of gay rights movement to close the gender wage gap – small achievable steps one at a time. She recommends eventually asking for 30 percent wage raise to close the gender wage gap.
According to Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) report: “The gender pay gap is caused by a variety of factors including the undervaluation of women’s work, women’s access to training and inflexible work practices which limits their employment prospects. However, a recent report by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) found that the main contributing factor to the wage gap was simply ‘being a woman’, and this accounted for 60% of the difference between women and men’s earnings.”