Women Working for Free
29 Sep 2020
The latest stats show that gender pay gaps are narrowing, for women of all ethnicities. But it’s not time to pop the champagne corks just yet.
The good news is that some of the improvement is the result of pay equity settlements, increases to the minimum wage, low paid workers being paid the Living Wage and low paid occupations in the public service winning pay increases in response to government expectations. Those wins have contributed to lifting the average hourly rate for women – because low paid jobs in particular tend to be occupations mainly done by women.
And the bad news?
Large numbers of women are no longer employed and that also has the effect of raising the average hourly rate. There has been a sharp reduction in women's full and part-time employment in the second quarter of 2020, particularly in the accommodation and food services sector. Covid-19 is disproportionately affecting low paid jobs employing women.
A special thank you to Andrea Black from the CTU and Linda Hill from CEVEP for crunching the numbers.