Australia’s Workforce Still Has A Gender Parity Problem

Australia’s Workforce Still Has A Gender Parity Problem

The latest gender parity report from Roy Morgan Research shows there is still room for improvement in the Australian workforce. While there has been a slight increase in the number of women employed (up 2 per cent from 2006), there remains a dramatic gender imbalance in many industries and occupation categories; particularly when it comes to high paying jobs. Women also continue to ear less than men in the same occupations.

Roy Morgan’s data shows that many occupations are still affected by a dramatic gender imbalance in Australia. For example, the number of men working full-time in the professionals category is double that of women (6.5% vs. 3.1%), while just 6.5% of women hold managerial roles compared to 12.2% of men. The disparity between “skilled workers” is even worse: 11.1% for men and 1.4% for women. The only occupation categories in which women outnumber men are “Clerks/Typists” (7.0% vs 5.0%) and “Semi-professionals” (5.1% vs 3.4%).

According to Roy Morgan’s research, women tend to earn less too, as explained on its blog:

Whereas 9.9% of men employed full-time in jobs within the “Professionals” category earn $200,000 or more per annum, only 3.3% of full-time women do. Within the same category, 9.0% of men and 5.5% of women earn between $150,000 and $199,999, while 7.3% of men and 7.1% of women earn between $130,000 and $149,999.   Among the lower salary echelons (under $70,000), however, this pattern reverses, with women featuring more prominently. Whereas 8.2% of men employed full-time as Professionals earn between $60,000 and $69,999, that figure rises to 13.5% of women.

[Via Ray Morgan Research]


  • Well, it’s not a bad article. Have variables like maternity leave and raising a family been considered?
    Analysing this data is notoriously dangerous. For example, in the under 30s (at least in the US), women out earn men and are out hired in tech jobs by about 20% over men. It’s rarely mentioned, but the data is easy to find.
    When women choose to have a family, they frequently put their careers on the back burner. I’ve heard all sorts of discussions around this (including using bottles, breast pumps, etc – which is not sensible to assume 1/2 of the families would go to that extreme to fight nature).
    From my own perspective, I don’t believe in measuring jobs across genders. I am more interested in opportunity (ie. Equal opportunity) and if women are being discriminated when applying for jobs. Unfortunately, this disappeared when the data didn’t support it.

  • You won’t like the answer – but I’ll ask you a question which solves these “problems” – ready…?

    Where are the women?

  • I don’t get it. Why is it assumed that women and men must represent equal percentages in everything? And if that’s true, why aren’t we pushing for more women in sanitation, mining, construction, security, law enforcement. When’s the last time you met a female mechanic? These industries have far less women than tech or other so called professional industries.

  • agreed, where are all the women demanding “equality” by representing their fair share of jobs in:

    painting trade worker
    roof tiler
    solid plasterer
    wall and floor tiler
    waste management
    public transport
    technicians and trade workers
    machinery operators
    civil engineering professionals
    civil engineering draftsperson and technician
    electrical engineer
    mechanical engineer
    aircraft maintenance engineer
    metal fabricator
    metal machinist
    sheetmetal trades worker
    combat soldier

    et, etc, etc

    no? no women lining-up to claim their rightful “equality” with equal representation ?

    I guess women who think they want “equality” really only wants the well-paid, prestigious jobs, while the “undesirable” jobs can be left to the men.

    Nothing says “equality” like only wanting the “nice” jobs, because the dirty, dangerous and boring jobs? That’s a man’s job.

    That’s not equality, those women only want female supremacy and to reinforce gender roles. They don’t want equality, they want “upgrades”, at the expense of men.

    So much for decades of chanting “equal pay for equal work”.

  • Yes the authors of these original articles get equal percentage confused with equality. Who says everything has to be 50%. In Australia you have a lot more females in part time positions than males. That directly affects their average income as a group and indirectly affects their advancement in a company where others are working 60 hour weeks (and missing other parts of life)

    I get a little offended as a male at work looking for opportunities when they announce a new initiative to mentor and guide females to groom for management and leader positions…. Hey? Discrimination? Imagine announcing a program to help males! I don’t think the females need to be patronised.

  • I’m going to jump on the band wagon as well. The vast majority of jobs where there is shown pay gaps is in managerial or a like jobs. In day to day work there really is no gap we’re covered by ebas and awards that are not gender biased. A lot of the time it seems to be a select employment sector has a bias and every work force is painted with the same brush. If your in a MD type position chances are your partner is as well or at least a fellow high income earner. So you can afford to take time off to have kids. Which then screws the balance. Lower income earners where as said there isn’t a defined gap there isn’t a gender bias, typically can’t afford to take time off so both parties continue to work giving a lower gender bias.
    And on a different note, when a company has to pay maternity leave and things like that for minimum periods set by the government you’re not going to want to hire a possible financial liability in the first place.

  • It’s also pertinent to note that our full time workforce is roughly 1/3 female, and 2/3 male – and full time employed men on average work 11% more than women on average.

    Often the best paying jobs are the most demanding – and women are on average less willing to prioritise work over other aspects of life. Indeed our society tends to encourage women to follow their passions, and men to find stable work that pays well – these priorities are clearly not aligned.

    We could also consider that welfare payments, pensions, child support, and spousal maintenance, are disproportionately paid to women as opposed to men. This is not included in these discussions because it is not earnings.

    We can reduce the earnings disparity by forcing men to work fewer hours, under more flexible conditions, in less dangerous environments, with less exposure to the elements, less incidence of depression, illness, injury, disability, and death, lower requirements for long hours, and fewer requirements to be away from home, friends, and families.

    Or we can accept that men and women are fundamentally different, give them equal rights and responsibilities, and respect the choices they make.

    If women choose to pursue occupations more in line with their passions and desired lifestyle than potential remuneration; or choose to leave the workforce to procreate or care for the young or the old; no one should try and stop them, or tell them they are wrong, or oppressed, in exercising their freedom of choice.

    I’m proud that our nation allows all people the right to make their own choices. This is not the case in the vast majority of the world.

  • So assuming this information is correct, there are half as many women as there as men in the workforce.

    So the difference in the above graph for ‘Managers’, “Sales” and to some extent ‘unskilled workers’ is pretty much on par?

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