News Club / 11 March 2024

Perspectives on the gender pay gap

Last week, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) published data from all private sector companies in Australia that employ over 100 people on their gender pay gaps.  

You’re an engaged news consumer, so I reckon you might’ve heard over and over again that it’s not a read on what men and women are paid for doing the same job – it’s an average across a company. The top line is that the average gender pay gap is 19%. 

Cut to Wednesday, and there were scores of headlines with varying takes on the data. Everything from ‘The Gender Pay Report Just Nonsense’ to ‘Family Choices Explain Part Of Gender Pay Gap, Says Bosses’ to ‘Move to Close Gender Pay Gap Is Step In Right Direction’. 

Depending on what you read, you get a different take. You’re busy, but we know you want to be informed – and this is where News Club can help… 

We’ve read it all, and this week, we have selected 4 Club PIcks that will get you across some of the perspectives so you can form your own view on why the gap exists and how to approach it. 

  1. The first is the cold hard data published by WGEA – this is their Instagram post, so you don’t have to read the full report (ahem did we mention we know you’re busy?).
  2. The transcript of the press conference with federal Women’s Minister Katy Gallagher and the WGEA CEO Mary Woodridge – it’s a good place to go to hear how they respond to questions on this (and scroll down a bit to where the topic of quotas comes up…). 
  3. An opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald/The Age by Jacqueline Maley titled ‘Pay gap stats aren’t about naming and shaming? Um, they kind of are.It’s a thought-provoking piece on her view of what sort of society we’ll end up with if this gap persists. 
  4. And finally, another opinion piece in The Australian by columnist Janet Albrechsten. This one did the rounds of my mother’s group chat with differing reactions. It’s personal and challenges a lot of what you may have seen. 

NB: We have had a few people writing to question why our Club Picks are often behind a paywall – and it’s a valid question. We have made that call as a lot of media outlets are moving towards paywalls, and if we just point to materials that are free to access, we’d be missing sooooo much stuff. If you don’t want to pay, no worries, just give our podcast a listen as it speaks to the details of these Club Picks so you don’t necessarily have to read them.

Your friends in news,

Kate Watson & Claire Kimball

News Club

The place for conversations about the news.

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.