The Andrews Labor Government has today announced an Equal Workplaces Advisory Council (EWAC) to boost gender equality in the workplace, a key action from the Gender Equality Strategy launched yesterday.
As a priority, the strategy addresses the systemic, cultural and historical factors that have resulted in the pay gap and inequality for women at work.
The Council will advise the Minister for Industrial Relations on how government can act to address these issues.
It will develop an action plan to promote workplace gender equality and educational materials for small and larger private sector employers and the public service.
It will also be charged with identifying, promoting and publishing good practice examples of where initiatives are working to promote gender equality at the workplace, across the private and public sector.
Australian women are highly educated and make up nearly half of the workforce, but earn only 77 per cent of men’s average full-time income, according to the latest data from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
The data shows the average full-time female employee took home $26,853 less than the average male employee in 2015-16, with the salary difference rising to $93,884 at the top level of management.
The latest ABS figures on average weekly earnings also show that the pay gap nationally sits at 19.17 per cent for full time, total weekly earnings.
The process to select a chair and its members will now begin with candidates to come from the private sector, employer and employee representatives, academics, and the social services sector.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins
“This Council is a key initiative to address the workplace inequality that women experience every day throughout their entire careers.”
“It is time women were put first in the workplace and we are taking action to ensure that takes place.”
Quotes Attributable to the Minister for Women and Prevention of Family Violence Fiona Richardson
“We still have a long way to go before workplaces are fully inclusive and supportive of women. The gender pay gap, inflexible working conditions and unconscious hiring biases still affect women.”
“This Council is going to make it easier for women's voices and concerns to be heard.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020