Gender pay gap starts at grad level

Gender pay gap starts at grad level

By Kate Southam

New research shows female graduates earned 14.3 per cent less than their male counterparts in 2011 leading to calls for a pay audit.

The Graduate Careers Australia research reveals that in 2011, males started full time work on a median salary of $52 000 (up from $50 000 in 2010) while females in full time employment earned $50 000 (up from $48 000 in 2010).

Men earned more than women in 14 areas. The largest gender pay gaps were in Earth Sciences and Architecture & Building where male starting salaries were between  14.3 per cent and 14 per cent higher on average respectively.

The director of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) Helen Conway says employers need to audit pay and look for differences along gender lines. She also urges employers to look at their recruitment practices.

Ms Conway says the graduate data shows that women are behind the “eight ball from day one” when it comes to salary.

“Businesses need to take a close look at their recruitment practices to stop this discrimination and ensure they attract and retain the best employees, regardless of gender.”

She recommends employers conduct a simple analysis of salaries by gender for equivalent positions.

“There should be greater transparency around salaries for graduate jobs. Graduates deserve to know that what they are being paid is fair and not influenced by gender,” she said.

The EOWA offer tools to employers to help them conduct gender pay audits. For information go to Mind the gap.
Research released on Equal Pay Day in September last year reveals that women’s average full-time weekly earnings remains 17.2 per cent below men.
EOWA research in 2010 showed that while many companies acknowledge a gap exists less than 40 per cent conduct annual pay equity analysis.

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