Stats show that WA’s gender wage gap, while narrowing, remains the largest in the country.Despite a drop of about one per cent, the disparity in wages between men and women in WA is still the highest in the nation, according to statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.
While Western Australian men are the highest earning in the nation and WA women are the second highest paid in Australia, behind the ACT, WA leads the nation in the gender gap.
According to ABS statistics, women in WA earn 25.3 per cent less than their male counterparts.
Queensland is the next highest at 23.2 per cent, followed by South Australia and New South Wales (both on 16.6 per cent), while Victoria sits on 13.9 per cent and Tasmania 11.7 per cent.
Canberra, with an abnormally high percentage of workers in the public sector, holds the lowest gender disparity of about nine per cent.
The national average gender gap is 18.3 per cent.
Unions WA secretary Meredith Hammat it was disappointing to see WA with the biggest gap.
Ms Hammat said the likely drivers were the high percentage of men working in the resources industry and the fields women predominantly worked in.
“It’s a function of the fact that the workplaces women tend to work in, the industry women tend to work in, are less likely to be recognised and properly paid for their skills,” she said.
“We’re talking human services, childcare workers, aged care workers, those in the caring profession typically don’t receive, in my view, the pay that reflects the very important role they play in the community and the very high level of skill required to do those jobs.
“On the other end of the scale you have the mining sector in WA. There are men in that industry on very high salaries, so that is also working to extend the gap.”
Ms Hammat also used the statistics to criticise ths state government’s wages policy, which caps public servants’ pay increases in line with inflation.
“This government’s wages policy capping pay increases for public sector workers, also contributes to that gap,” she said.
However Ms Hammat did concede the gender gap was down from last year’s figures.
Department of Commerce figures show that compared to last year, male average earnings have decreased, possibly due to a softening of demand for labour in high earning, male-dominated industries. Female earnings continued to increase.
While this helps to account for the reduction of the gap, Ms Hammat said it was not nearly enough.
“It is down by about one per cent but if women are only getting paid about 75 per cent of men’s wages, that’s still not right,” she said.
WAtoday老域名出售.au has attempted to contact Commerce Minister Michael Mischin but he is out of the state on business The Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also been contacted for comment. Follow WAtoday on Twitter
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