Gender equality was already flatlining ahead of pandemic

Gender equality was already flatlining ahead of pandemic

Gender equality is flatlining in Australia and the coronavirus-induced economic shock will do nothing to help its resuscitation.

Women are now more qualified than ever and more likely than at any point in the past decade to be working. Despite these achievements, the average woman in a full time job gets paid 86 cents for each dollar paid to her male counterpart. This is the same as the pay gap recorded in 2019 and is equivalent to an improvement worth 3 cents since 2010.

This sickly diagnosis is part of a comprehensive suite of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, released on Tuesday, about how women and men have fared on economic, health, education and life measures. It found women are more than twice as likely to be the primary carer of someone with a disability, three times as likely to be working part-time, overwhelmingly the main carers for children and highly likely to be paid less than their male counterparts when graduating in the same field of study.

Further, there has been stagnation for women making it to the top of the corporate ladder. In 2018-19, all but 17.1 per cent of chief executive positions in the private sector were held by men. There was no change compared to the 12 months prior and an improvement worth a little over one per cent since the early-2010s.