Mind the gap—$500,000 to help address gender wage inequality
The gender pay gap between men's and women's salaries in Australia is significant, and has barely changed for two decades. This Equal Pay Day, UTS has announced a $500,000 investment to address the gender pay gap at the university.
Equal Pay Day is held on the 28th of August, and marks the extra 59 days that women have to work since the end of the last financial year in order to earn the same pay as men.
According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), Australia’s gender pay gap remains at 14%, with male full-time employees still making $241.50 per week more than full-time women employees. While women working in the higher education sector fare slightly better, WGEA data still indicates a gap of 13.4%.
UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs says that UTS will commit $500,000 in additional resources to close the gender pay gap in three faculties with significant gaps.
“I’m pleased that we can take this action to commit serious funding to closing the gender pay gap,” Professor Brungs said.
“But we also recognise that addressing gender pay equity is a process, not a one-off. And while we have been working on this for a long time, we understand that we have a long way to go. This announcement is an important step, but only one step in this journey.”
Verity Firth, Executive Director at the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion is also pleased: “We're thrilled to be involved in improving gender equity at the university, whether it be by undertaking surveys into staff makeup to identify under-representation, supporting those at UTS with carer responsibilities, or training women to be empowered and people to be more aware of biases when recruiting."
The Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion also runs the Athena SWAN program to attract and keep talented women in STEMM.
"This decision by the Vice-Chancellor and senior executive to invest resources into closing the pay gap is the 'icing on the cake'," says Firth.
"Equal Pay Day is an important reminder of just how far we have to go when it comes to ensuring men and women are given equal opportunities at work. I’d like to acknowledge just how hard so many people at the centre, in the Human Resources Unit and across our university have worked to make this happen.”