Some important commentary and reports on the gender gap in Australian remuneration out today

The gap in earnings between women and men is important both in a policy sense and to the individuals concerned. There have been some important comment pieces and reports on this issue recently. Prue Cameron for the Australia Institute has published “What’s choice got to do with it?”, a report that criticises suggestions that women’s ‘choices’ throughout their lifetime result in less superannuation.  The AI summary quotes Ms Cameron as saying:

“The reality is that most often choice doesn’t come into it. The fact that women continue to earn on average 17.6 per cent less than men is not a result of their choices. Nor is the fact that many women continue to be the primary carers simply a matter of individual preference, but the consequence is that women end up poorer.”

Fiona Smith at BRW, always worth a read, has published a piece today on unconscious bias. (For those interested, my friend Felicity Farmer consults on that very issue.) In her article, Ms Smith referred to some ACTU analysis of ABS figures demonstrating the current state of the gender pay gap. The ACTU factsheet is here. Launching its analysis, the ACTU’s President Ged Kearney said:

“Businesses must re-examine their practices and honestly assess the opportunities they do or do not provide to women especially around creating work arrangement that don’t penalised them for their caring responsibilities.”

Hear, hear.