Women in Construction: Australian construction industry now has the largest gender pay gap.


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It’s Official: Construction Industry Now Has Largest Gender Pay Gap…And it’s Increased From Last Year

The latest WGEA Scorecard has been released and not only has the construction industry taken out the dubious top honour of having the largest gender pay gap of any industry within Australia, the gap has also increased from last year.

Just pipping the finance and banking industry, construction’s gap now comes in at 30.6% – an increase of 2.6%, whilst the national average has fallen from 23.3% to 22.8%.

In actual dollars, on average across all industries, women will receive $7.72 for every $10 earned by her male counterpart. In construction, women can only expect to earn $6.94.

Whilst it is not a case of “all women” or “all men”, this is an industry average which means in some parts of the industry, that dollar figure is lower still.

“In previous years, researchers and commentators have looked at what may be causing this gap. If we look at what research and media commentary has told us over the last 2 years, during COVID, women took on significantly more of the caring duties in each household, it is possible that the bump is COVID related but that doesn’t make the result any more palatable” says NAWIC National Chair Kristine Scheul.

“Additionally, when women only make up 4.4% of CEOs, 20.9% Key Management Personnel and only 17.8% of board roles, it is not all that difficult to see why the message of equality is not getting through.”

With Infrastructure Australia reporting that over 105,000 additional workers are going to be required by 2023 in order to ensure the government is able to roll out its multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects across the country, reducing this gap is essential if we want to encourage more women into the industry.

Those companies who are actively addressing that will likely benefit the most. “This will be a very challenging goal to meet if 50% of the population who could be encouraged to fill some of those ranks, are being told by a large proportion of that industry that they are not valued as highly as their male counterparts,” says Kristine.

In this upcoming election year, therefore, NAWIC will be calling on the government to consult with industry organisations like NAWIC who represent and advocate for a more equitable industry – to work towards closing the gender pay gap once and for all.

*The gender pay gap measures the difference between the average earnings of women and
men in the workforce. The gender pay gap is an internationally established measure of
women’s position in economy in comparison to men.

Source: NAWIC

View the Media Release here

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