Gender pay gap reporting: what leaders need to know

As leaders we must grasp this opportunity to advance the conversation and drive meaningful change, says Women & Leadership Australia CEO, Karen Taylor.
Karen Taylor
2 mins

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has published the gender pay gap for employers with a workforce of 100 or more employees.  

The gender pay gap is an important data point for us as a society to measure and address. It’s a clear marker of the inequity that persists in our workplaces, systems, and policies. 

Why is the gender pay gap important? 

While ‘equal pay’ ensures that men and women receive equal pay for the same (or comparable) job, the gender pay gap takes a broader view and measures the difference in average earnings between women and men in the workforce.  

In other words, the gender pay gap reflects the systemic barriers that financially disadvantage women, such as: 

  • fewer women than men employed in senior (higher paid) leadership positions 
  • industries with female-dominated workforces paying lower salaries 
  • more women than men employed in part-time roles 
  • higher burden of domestic and unpaid labour on women 
  • discrimination and unconscious bias affecting recruitment, promotion and salary decisions. 

According to WGEA, regardless of the measure of pay or the dataset you use, there is always a gender pay gap in favour of men in Australia. 

What do leaders need to think about? 

As leaders we must grasp this opportunity to advance the conversation and drive meaningful change 

Yes, the gender pay gap is a complex problem to solve. And yes, for most of us there will be more work to be done to narrow the gender pay gap. Now is the time to front up to the difficult conversations and commit to meaningful change. 

Depending on your organisation and industry, the public reporting of your gender pay gap might negatively impact: 

  • Current staff engagement and retention 
  • Your ability to attract new staff  
  • Stakeholder and investor decisions 
  • Your competitive advantage in sales or tender submissions 

Being proactive with clear and measurable gender equity strategies, and demonstrating commitment through meaningful and measurable actions will be helpful in maintaining trust and reputation. 

Where to from here? 

Our evidence-based programs can help you create a culture of inclusion, and build a pipeline of women leaders. Speak to us to find out how we can help. 

Find out more about gender pay gap reporting on the WGEA website