Times are changing and so is the way employees will be allowed to discuss pay rates in the workplace.
The ‘Closing the Gender Pay Gap Bill’ was passed in March 2023 (1), which will enable Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) to start reporting annual gender pay gap publicly available from 2024 (2). This increased transparency puts a spotlight on Australian employers’ intentional actions to address pay disparity between women and men, and indirectly between full-time, part-time, and casual employees, as the latter two are lower paid and majority are women.
With these latest changes, women will be able to compare their pay rates with their co-workers without fear of punishment if they wish to discuss any differences that they notice.
Transparent reporting will mean employers stepping up and taking day-to-day actions as well making policy level changes to make meaningful shifts in the desired direction to close the pay gap. While there is a sentiment that we have stalled as a nation on workplace gender equality actions, the gender pay gap in Australia is currently 22.8 per cent (3), we can take a page out of the books from some of Australia’s Best Workplaces™️ that continue to close the gender pay gaps with positive and progressive actions.
Common practices in Australia’s Certified™️ Companies and Best Workplaces™️ (4):
- Setting, monitoring and working towards targets on women participation in the workplace and in leadership roles, inc. Board level
- Practical development opportunities such as mentoring, coaching and job shadowing to increase promotion rate (and conversion L&D/Leadership training to being appointed to management role)
- Internal salary reviews, external salary benchmarking and sharing the outcomes openly with employees
- Partnership with primary and secondary schools, and outreach programs for girls and women in aboriginal communities, including career mapping session to generate aspiration, build awareness on gender, and pay equality
Progressive actions your workplace can take:
- Removing the “primary parent” title in parental leave policies health benefits
- Providing parental leave and other entitlements for same-sex parents
- Partnering with community agencies to enable older women (50+ women) to rebuild/relaunch their careers after adversity, by reskilling and job-readiness preparation
- Allowing appropriate conversations about pay rates to occur, and being willing to have open discussions around any discrepancies or differences
Want to know more about what you can do to support women in the workplace? Download our 2023 International Women’s Day Report here – https://greatplacetowork.com.au/iwd-report-2023/
(2) WGEA to publish the gender pay gaps of all private sector employers with 100+ employees from 2024
(4) Information is based on 2023 Best Workplaces and Certified companies in Australia
Valentina brings 25 years of experience in organisational development, people and culture, and teaching and training experience from across higher education, government and private sectors in Australia and Myanmar (Burma). In the past 15+ years, she has been focused on employee engagement, workplace culture, leadership development and strategic planning. Her recent HR leadership roles included heading up functional HR teams in large and complex organisations, including crisis management during the pandemic and political unrest. She exercises her passion for people development by teaching, mentoring and coaching young HR professionals in the areas of HR, management and career planning. Valentina is a strong advocate for full-person wellness, and achieves balance through yoga, outdoor activities, cooking and enjoys spending time with family and friends.