closing gender pay gaps

Executive Summary

27 February 2024

Closing national gender pay gaps is a generational challenge requiring commitment and co-ordinated action at organisation, sector and national levels.

The Champions of Change report, Closing gender pay gaps: our action and commitment, released to coincide with Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s inaugural publication of gender pay gap data for Australian private sector organisations with more than 100 employees, provides the median gender pay gap data for Champions of Change Coalition Members, together with a framework for understanding and responding to gender pay gaps and priority actions the Coalition is taking to close them.

We aim to achieve inclusive gender equality by; advancing more and diverse women into leadership; creating safe, respectful and inclusive workplaces and embedding equality and inclusion in what we deliver, creating an innovation advantage and positive social impact. Gender pay gaps are powerful aggregate measures of progress. While many of our Members now have gender balance across their organisations, our gender pay gap data points to more systemic and structural issues that need to be addressed. This is why we exist and why our Members invest in the work we do together.

In Australia, pay equality – when women and men are paid the same for performing the same role or different work of equal or comparable value – has been a legal requirement since 1969. When women and men are not paid the same for performing the same or a similar role, it is sometimes referred to as the ‘like-for-like pay gap’. Champions of Change Members have closely monitored, taken action on and reported on pay equality for many years.

“We strongly support public and granular reporting on gender pay gaps to drive organisational, sector and national awareness and action. As more organisations advance towards overall gender equal representation, analysis of gender pay gaps will inform more targeted strategies to achieve inclusive gender equality across Australian workplaces.”

Annika Freyer – CEO, Champions of Change Coalition

Tracking what is known as employer or organisation gender pay gaps is a different way to measure progress on gender equality. Employer gender pay gaps consider pay equality, as well as how successful organisations are in attracting, retaining and promoting women equally (in numbers and participation) at all levels, including to roles that attract higher pay, higher profile and higher economic value.

Applying different ‘lenses’ to the review of employer gender pay gaps, such as by considering the average (mean) and median gaps and gender composition by pay quartile, enables deeper analysis and offers new insights to guide meaningful action towards achieving inclusive gender equality.

The Closing gender pay gaps: our action and commitment report includes:

  • The Coalition’s commitment to collective efforts to closing gender pay gaps
  • A framework for understanding the drivers of gender pay gaps and high impact actions that can be taken at organisation, sector and national level to close them
  • Collective and transparent disclosure of median pay gap data for eligible Members
  • Case studies of Member action to close gender pay gaps from Viva Energy, Australian Super, Deloitte and CSR.

“What our Member data and experience as a Coalition over a decade shows is that organisations cannot close gender pay gaps by working in isolation. This is a generational challenge. Lasting change will only be achieved through collective efforts to redesign decades of education, employment and workplace strategies which in the past have been based on gender roles and norms that undermine efforts to achieve gender equality. Strategies to address the unequal division of caring and household management will also be essential.”

Elizabeth Broderick AO – Founder, Champions of Change Coalition

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