Mind the gap on wage equality

THREE times more men  than women in Orange earn more than $2000 per week, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) 2011 census.

The figures are in line with a nationwide trend that shows women are earning only 64 per cent of the average male wage, and those figures have changed little since 2005. 

NSW Business Chamber director Ellie Brown said it was unfortunate men still dominated the income stakes, but she believed by the time Australians filled out another census or two the figures would show more equality. 

“We are experiencing a shift in the corporate world,” she said.

“Traditionally women were seen as primary carers for children so that impacted the climb up the corporate ladder ... that is not so much the case anymore.”

According to the 2011 census, there were 4295 men, 24 per cent of the total Orange workforce, earning more than $1000 per week, compared to 2843 women, or 16 per cent of the total workforce. 

Men far outweighed women when it came to salaries over $2000 per week, with 1042 men reaching the target, compared to 313 women in Orange. 

Ms Brown said high profile women were changing the perception of females in the workforce and on boards, like the NSW Business Chamber, which led by example. 

For the last two years three out of 10 board members were women. 

ABS Director, Lisa Conolly, said while the average wage and salary income in Australia for 2010-11 was $51,923, men recorded a higher average of $62,699 compared with $40,312 for females. 

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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