Gender pay gap in financial services closing

The pay gap between men and women working in financial services is closing but remains the largest in the country, according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

Data from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s Gender Equity Insights 2017 report found that men employed full-time within the financial services industry earned on average 25.9 per cent more than their female peers in the 2015–16 financial year.

While women in banking and finance were among the highest paid (at an average of $105,438), “organisations within the financial and insurance services industry continue to record the largest full-time gender pay gap, when measured by either base salary or total remuneration”.

The report said: “Women employed full-time can expect to earn on average around $30,000 or 26 per cent less each year in base salary than men employed within the industry. This gap increases to more than $52,000 or 33 per cent when taking into account additional remuneration including superannuation, bonuses and other discretionary pay.”

However, the current number marks a 1.4 per cent decrease on the 27.3 per cent gap in the 2014–15 financial year; other industries such as construction and retail trade saw the gap increase.

The director of the WGEA, Libby Lyons, commented: “This report highlights the benefits across workplaces of achieving gender balance. Currently, the concentration of women in particular industries is leading to poor gender equality outcomes. Indeed, a heavy dominance of women in management teams is actually linked to high pay gaps in favour of men.

“The case for change is clear. Research shows that diverse work teams lead to better workplace culture, greater innovation and improved performance. And, the analysis shows organisations that increase their gender balance at the leadership level improve working conditions for women, as evidenced by lower pay gaps.”

Ms Lyons concluded: “I look forward to using this report to inform the agency’s work with employers, to help challenge the way we think and the way we approach our work.”

[Related: Finalists for Women in Finance Awards announced]

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Annie Kane

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