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Office for Women

Equal Pay

Pay equity means equal pay for work of equal or comparable value, regardless of gender.

The gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is the difference between women’s and men’s average weekly full-time equivalent earnings, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. It is a measure of women’s overall position in the paid workforce and does not compare like roles.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) data both show a gender pay gap favouring full-time working men over full-time working women in every industry and occupational category in Australia.

The gender pay gap has hovered between 15% and 19% for the past two decades.1

Lower wage rates mean lower lifetime earnings for women. The gender pay gap has implications for women's financial security, particularly in older age.

The gender pay gap is influenced by a number of interrelated factors. According to research by KPMG, sex discrimination continues to be the single largest factor contributing to the gender pay gap.2 Industrial and occupational segregation, years spent out of the workforce, age and part-time employment are other contributing factors.3

More information


  1. Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Gender Pay Gap
  2. KPMG, She's Price[d]less:The economics of the gender pay gap
  3. KPMG, She's Price[d]less:The economics of the gender pay gap
Page last updated : 05 May 2022
Provided by:
Department of Human Services
Last Updated:
02 Mar 2021
Printed on:
02 Oct 2023
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