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Increased Pay Gap in Health and Aged Care Industry

November 17, 2018 0 Comments

For a second year in a row, the gender pay in favour of men has increased in the female-dominated industry – aged care, health and social services.

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency 2017-18 Data Snapshot released a report showing that the health and aged care industries continue to have this increased pay gap, with men earning 21.3% more than women on average.
The data shows a 5-year trend, which reveals across the board a decline in pay gap every year for the last five years, with this year being the biggest at 1.1 percentage points in the average full-time total remuneration gender pay gap.

In the health care and social assistance workforce, however, the trend takes a detour showing an increase rather than a decline. In an industry that is 80% dominated by females, the gender gap increased to 16.1%, which is 1.4 percentage points higher from the recorded 14.7% in 2015-16.

Gender and Seniority Roles

A steady increase in the number of women management roles was also shown in the data, however, the women representation declines with seniority. The women in the health care and social assistance sector has consistently remained the strongest at 70.2%, but the percentage continues to decline in residential aged care management roles.
Despite the decline in percentage points of women in the health and aged care industries, the report shows strong growth in employer action in areas such as overall gender equality policies and strategies, pay equity and flexible work.

There was a recorded increase in the number of employees who impose formal policies to support employees experiencing family or domestic violence.

During the launch of the data at the National Press Club in Canberra, WGEA Director, Libby Lyons said that the dataset shows that the employer action has delivered real outcomes, however, female workers still face many barriers in most workplaces in Australia.

“The first five years of data shows where we are seeing positive change and where we need to make more effort. We now need even more employers to take action so that we can accelerate the momentum for gender equality in Australian workplaces,” Libby said.

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