Gender Pay Equity

Gender pay equity is about ensuring women and men performing the same role are paid the same amount, and women and men performing different work of equal or comparable value are paid equitably. This requires a valuing of skills, responsibilities and working conditions in a non-discriminatory way. Unintended gender biases in hiring, promotion, performance and pay decisions can lead to incidences of pay inequity. Any unfairness or perceived unfairness can negatively impact workplace culture and productivity.  It can also negatively affect employee engagement and retention. (Source: WGEA, Guide to Gender Pay Equity)

Research shows the main factors contributing to the gender pay gap are:

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

Paying men and women equally for the same work isn't the whole story. Find out more in the short video - The Gender Pay Gap Explained.

Gender Pay Equity at Western

Western Sydney University has a long term commitment to reducing the gender pay equity gap. Some of the measures the University has in place to improve gender pay equity include:

  • Undertaking comprehensive annual gender pay equity audits
  • Setting a target for the representation of women in all areas of management
  • Promoting workplace flexibility and supporting our staff in meeting their personal and work priorities
  • Facilitating training options for staff on the potential impacts of unconscious bias
  • Supporting women in engaging in non-traditional fields of study and work such as the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) disciplines, including participating in the pilot program of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program
  • Undertaking ongoing review and assessment of our promotions and recruitment processes and training to enhance access and opportunity for all staff.

The University has run internal pay equity audits since 2009. In 2020 the University saw a drop in the average total remuneration gender pay gap from 2019 down 0.9% to 14.5%, with the University’s base salary gender pay gap currently 13.7%. A more detailed breakdown of pay gaps across classifications, and workplace profile data including manager and non-manager representation, promotions, and staff access to flexible work and parental leave options is available at Workforce Profile and Pay Equity Analysis.

Equal pay day

Equal Pay Day marks the additional time from the end of the previous financial year that women must work in order to earn the same average income as men. The Equal Pay Day for 2021 falls on Tuesday 31 August.

This year the national gender pay gap figure has been reported by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) at 14.2%, a rise of 0.8 percentage points over the last six months.

In a recent media release Mary Wooldridge, Director of WGEA stated:

"Equal Pay Day is an ideal opportunity to remind employers around the country that one of the key levers of change is through gender pay audits...Research proves that regular audits close pay gaps faster. The 2021 Gender Equity Insights Report from BCEC and WGEA showed that employers who consistently did pay audits between 2015-20 closed their managerial pay gaps faster than all other companies. By contrast, those who stopped doing pay audits actually saw their managerial pay gaps increase. Closing the pay gap is about fairness...The gender pay gap signifies that the work of women is still not treated as being of equal value to that of men.”

Vice-Chancellor statement on equal pay day 2021 - 31 August

"Today is Equal Pay Day, which marks the additional 61 days from the end of the previous financial year that a woman must work on average to earn the same as a man.

The national theme for Equal Pay Day in 2021 is #WhatsYourPayGap. This year, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has calculated, using Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, that the national gender pay gap is 14.2% for full-time employees. There is no single solution to reducing the gender pay gap, and the University is continually considering ways to address the factors that can contribute to this ongoing gap. To inform decision making, the University monitors its pay equity data annually, and has done so since 2009. You can find out more about Western Sydney University’s approach to pay equity on the University Gender Pay Equity website.

As a Pay Equity Ambassador, I encourage you to open discussions with your colleagues regarding how we can further address the issues that lead to the continued gender pay gap in Australia."

Vice-Chancellor - Pay Equity Ambassador

On Equal Pay Day in 2015 the Vice-Chancellor was named a Pay Equity Ambassador as part of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency's campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of pay equity.

In renewing this commitment in 2018, the Vice-Chancellor has joined with prominent business leaders in calling for action to close the pay gap between men and women and signed the following statement:

The Pay Equity Pledge

"We recognise gender bias can creep into performance, talent development
and pay decisions to create like for like gender pay gaps.
That's why we analyse and monitor our talent management data, including pay,
by gender and take action.
We also set the expectation among people managers that they address gender bias in their decision making.
We do this because we know we can't attract and retain the best people and improve workplace productivity if there's any unfairness or perception of unfairness in our workplaces.
We encourage all business leaders to take the first step.
Equal pay is in your hands."

The Gender Pay Gap Explained

Online tools to assist women in employment negotiations

WGEA have released the Gender and Negotiation in the Workplace paper. This paper gives insight into existing research on the impact engagement in salary negotiation has long-term impacts on salary differentials. It also reviews the overall processes around workplace negotiation, and provides advice and suggestions for employers and individuals around navigating these situations skilfully.

EconomicSecurity4Women have launched an online 'Know Your Value' resource to help women when negotiating pay and employment conditions and entering into contracts. The online checklist designed specifically for women provides advice on how to confidently negotiate around pay and conditions, promotions, working arrangements and learning and development opportunities.