Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day marks the period of extra days in the current year which women need to work to achieve the same wages that men earned during the previous financial year.

Equal Pay Day recognises how much longer women have to work to earn the same as men in one year. So, for every 12 months that men work, for example, women may have to work an extra 60 days – and the end of those extra days is marked by Equal Pay Day.

We mark this day as a way of drawing attention to the wage gap that exists in most countries between women and men. Our aim is to work towards reducing the damaging and substantial income gap between women and men, and to do this BPW International motivates BPW affiliates all over the world to establish an Equal Pay Day in their own country. Equal Pay Day is a prominent BPW event across Europe, but they calculate the day on a calendar year rather than the July-June financial year that Australia uses.

Our challenge is to elevate this issue on the public agenda by raising awareness about pay inequity and making ‘wages’ a more acceptable subject of discussion. Only then will our country’s leaders be moved to initiate strategies to address the gap.

In Australia

The gender pay gap has been typically around 17% for around 20 years.

Every year the percentage is calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and is based on Average Weekly Earnings data.  There’s no one cause of the gap, and no one solution. In fact, most of the gap occurs because of unconscious bias. Employers don’t deliberately pay men and women differently – that is illegal; but they might recruit differently, create different position descriptions, have different expectations, or promote differently depending on whether you are a male or female – without even realising it.

Pay equity is important in the extra tax and GDP it would generate in the national economy. Job satisfaction is in part derived from the knowledge that an employee is  valued, but unfortunately women are increasingly marginalised in casual employment, in jobs that are not valued as highly as men’s, (ie ‘care’ such as healthcare and childcare),  and often restricted by lack of workplace flexibility.

In 2013, women graduates earned $5000 less than their male counterparts; up from $2000 gap in 2012. The situation is worsening, despite Australia having the highest rate of educated women in the world (Global Gender Index, 2013).

Data reported in 2015 based on the first year of standardised gender reporting reveals the gender pay gap across all industries is 19.9% when based on full-time base remuneration, and 24.7% when based on full-time total remuneration. The largest gender pay gap occurs at very senior management levels (28.9%), followed by general managers (27.5%) then other managers (24.6%).  

For more information on Equal Pay Day visit http://www.equalpayday.com.au/ which has been developed by BPW Australia in conjunction with other members of the Equal Pay Alliance.

Equal Pay Day 2015

In 2015, Equal Pay Day fell on Friday 4 September, based on the Gender Pay Gap, calculated using Average Weekly Earnings survey results released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in August. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency fact sheet Gender workplace statistics at a glance has been updated with the latest figures. 
The Gender Pay Gap is the difference between men’s and women’s wages and stands at 17.9% in 2015. This means that men in the paid workforce earn an average of $284 more than women each week.  

Source: http://equalpayday.com.au/  a collaboration between BPW Australia, ACTU, and 50 organization supporters

BPW Australia Equal Pay Day 2016 Media Statement

BPW Australia calls on leaders in government and industry to initiate strategies to address and close the gender pay gap. The Gender Pay Gap in 2016 stands at 16.2% and has hovered between 15% and 19% for the past two decades (based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Average Weekly Earnings survey data). Despite the many social, legislative and technological advances of the 21st Century, pay inequality between women and men has stagnated. The 2016 figure is an improvement on the 18.2% and 17,9% Gender Pay Gaps reported in 2014 and 2015 respectively, but we still have a way to go before reaching pay equity between women and men. On average, men working full-time earned $1,613.60 and women earned $1,352.50, a difference of $261.10 per week.

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency has nominated 8 September as this year’s Equal Pay Day. This means that women in employment in Australia must work an extra ten weeks in order to be on a par with their male counterparts’ earnings in the previous financial year.

BPW Australia is working to elevate this issue on the public agenda by raising awareness about pay inequity and making ‘wages’ a matter of priority in public discussion. We mark Equal Pay Day as a way of drawing attention to the pay gap that exists not only in Australia but in most countries between women and men.


BPW  Equal Pay Day T-Shirt

Add a splash of colour to support your message by purchasing the BPWA – EPD T-shirt here

Use it at your EPD event to make a statement of support for equal pay. Encourage work colleagues and friends to wear it at work on EPD. Share the link wide and far within your network and with that the message we believe in.

At the national level the EPD campaign is focussed on getting CEOs commitment
to change by signing the Women Empowerment Principles (WEP) or the CEO Gender Pay Equality Pledge. 

Keep an eye on the Equal Pay Alliance and the BPWA website for updates. 

Addressing the Australian Gender Pay Gap whitepaper will be promoted on BPWA
social media platforms and we strongly encourage the members to distribute and share
within their networks, because every step in the right direction counts.

2016 BPW Club Competition

The Equal Pay Day Club Competition this year will see clubs undertake a range of events and promotions to ensure that the gender pay gap awareness is maintained and addressed in a pro-active manner. 

Each club shall then report (no later than 30.09.2016) on their events or other activities and the reports will be assessed by a small panel of judges.
The three best will be awarded a cash prize -
1st prize of $1500, 
2nd prize of $1000,
3rd prize of $500. 

The winner will be announced during the Gala Dinner at the National Conference. See the attached guidelines for more details and don’t miss the opportunity to make a difference and shine.  Download the details here.

Please email me your EPD club event details for uploading them onto the Equal Pay Alliance website at dirpolicy@bpw.com.au

BPW Australia
Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women
Suite 154, 16 Beenleigh Redland Bay Road Loganholme QLD Australia 4129
Ph: +61 7 3103 1391  |  Fax: +61 7 3112 6838  |  ABN 50 956 174 998 


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