In your state, you are required to confirm you wish to access this information. Please enter 'QLD' or 'WA' in the field below to continue.

No thanks

Gender Pay Gap – Why does it still exist?

Will Barsby Written by:
Will Barsby
National Special Counsel - Consumer Dispute Resolution

Enough with the quotas and the equality policies, why is the gender pay gap still a “thing” in 2017?

There are some who deny the gender pay gap exists but as it turns out we have all been eye witnesses to it. Every week day morning. For a decade. What exactly does Karl Stefanovic have that is worth a million dollars more than Lisa Wilkinson? The answer seems pretty obvious and it’s a disgrace to still be discussing this.

Lisa calls it quits

Lisa’s abrupt exit from Channel 9’s iconic morning Today show leaving behind her (in)famous “work husband” Karl Stefanovic has shocked viewers and the industry alike.

However behind the kind words and messages following Wilkinson’s departure lies a more incestuous problem in our workplace community that raises its ugly head even in the media world – an issue that is often spoken about but gets little traction or change in employer attitudes and behaviours.

Wilkinson was simply seeking equal pay.

woman-unfairly-terminated

Media sources have reported today that heated contract negotiations were ongoing between Wilkinson and Channel 9. But, what was it that this strong powerful female host was seeking from her Employer? Nothing more than the same day’s pay for the same day’s work.

There is no doubt that Wilkinson’s and Stefanovic’s roles are the same and equally as important to the ongoing success of the Today Show franchise. Both Wilkinson and Stefanovic get up for work at 3.30am 5 days a week and sit side by side presenting together. But why, and how, is it that Wilkinson has been duped with every pay packet she received?

Pay equality: Why is this still an issue?

Gender inequality in the workplace isn’t a new issue. However, it is very unfortunate that in 2017 we continue to see female workers from high profile media personnel down to CEO roles and other important roles in the community receive lesser pay than that of their male counterparts. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency released data in 2016 showing that the gender wage gap continues to be a significant issue with females earning on average $27,254 less than their male counterparts. The gap is less that the year before, however it still demonstrates we have a long way to go.

There are laws – like the Sex Discrimination Act in Australia – which prevent people from being unfairly treated on the basis of attributes such as their sex. It also protects workers with family responsibilities and makes acts such as sexual harassment against the law. Whilst most employees are generally covered by an award rate or pay agreement, it’s often the case that female employees come in second best when it comes to pay for senior management roles.

There are also options to report issues to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission but seriously do we need outside parties to enforce what should be mandatory and expected? It needs to start somewhere and big business, like Channel Nine, should be leading the charge.

When my 6 year old daughter finally joins the workforce I want her pay rate to reflect her ability not her gender – is this too much to ask for?

Don’t suffer in silence

If you’re experiencing discrimination in the workplace, whether on the grounds of sex, race, marital status or pregnancy, you do not have to grin and bear it. Shine Lawyers’ employment law team are experts at handling workplace discrimination matters, and can get the justice you deserve. Get in touch today for more information on how we can protect your rights as an employee.

Written by Will Barsby on . Last modified: November 9, 2017.

Join the discussion

Share this article:

There are 0 comments. Be the first!

Fruit pickers, take note

Come harvest time, most Australian farmers are desperate for good workers.  For backpackers fruit picking is a relatively easy job to secure between December and July, but the work itself is far from a walk in the park.  Days are long, with repetitive and physically demanding tasks in very hot and humid conditions. Backpackers, know […]

Read more

Don’t let redundancy ruin your Christmas

With just under two months until Christmas, an unfortunate reality is that this time can bring uncertainty around the security of your employment. Big and small businesses sometimes approach this time of year as a time to reduce costs and people headcounts, looking to start the year fresh. The festive season often sees a spike […]

Read more

Mental health in the workplace: Australian Federal Police officers speak out

Members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have recently started to stand up and speak out. Tales of inadequate institutional support for workplace bullying and mental health issues are coming forward. Almost 100 officers both past and present have spoken out on what has been called the AFP’s “disturbing bullying culture”. With incidents of workplace […]

Read more

Don’t become a Christmas casual statistic

The festive season can be a great opportunity for everyone to earn some extra cash by taking on a second job as a Christmas casual. With just over two months until Christmas, now is the time we see retailers advertising for casuals to keep up with the holiday season demand. What it means to be […]

Read more

Call Us Now

Our friendly consultants are available to talk Monday to Friday, 8:15am to 6:00pm AEST.

1800 618 851

Live Chat

Chat with Shine Lawyers through the livechat system without leaving your computer. No downloading, completely private and best of all - its easy to use.

Start a live chat now

Enquire Now

Enquire now