Equal pay day 2023: “What’s missing matters” 

On Equal Pay Day, Federation is calling on the Minns Government to “Honour The Deal”. In July, the Government agreed to make NSW teachers the nation’s best paid, but then reneged earlier this month when it tried to amend the agreement to include three subsequent years of 2.5 per cent pay movements.  

Friday, 25 August, is 56 days from the end of the financial year, and marks the number of additional days that women must work on average, across organisations, industries, and the workforce as a whole, to earn the same as men. 

The latest national gender pay gap of 13 per cent is a 0.3 percentage point decrease on figures released in February this year. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) calculates that, on average, for every $1 men earn in Australia, women make 87 cents.  

Feminised industries face barriers to achieving wage parity 

The fourth edition of the She’s Price(d)less report released in 2022 found that women in feminised industries faced barriers to achieving wage parity along with underrepresentation in promotions and key management positions.

Social and economic factors contribute to the gap between women and men’s average earnings, which combine to reduce women’s earning capacity over their lifetime. These factors include:  

  • women and men working in different industries and different jobs, with female-dominated industries and jobs attracting lower wages.  
  • conscious and unconscious discrimination and bias in hiring and pay decisions 
  • lack of workplace flexibility to accommodate caring and other responsibilities, especially in senior roles 
  • high rates of part-time work for women 
  • women’s greater time out of the workforce for caring responsibilities affecting career progression and opportunities 
  • women’s disproportionate share of unpaid caring and domestic work 

Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) chief executive officer Mary Wooldridge said: “This year we are calling on employers to recognise that ‘what’s missing matters’ in a whole range of situations, and particularly the missing pay for women matters. And we are asking employers to do something about it.” 

Closing the gender pay gap will require cultural change to remove barriers to the full and equal participation of women in the workforce. 

Add your voice to the Honour The Deal campaign 

  • Email a Labor MP, Deputy Premier and Education Minister Prue Car, Treasurer Daniel Mookhey and Premier Chris Minns, calling on the Government to honour the negotiated agreement and vary the Award to deliver these changes on day 1 of term 4 (9 October). It’s easy. Use this email template.  
  • Take a photo with your colleagues holding Honour The Deal posters and share it on social media, along with the hashtag #HonourTheDeal.