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Gender pay gap in heavy and civil construction revealed

Two industrial technicians, a man and a woman at a nuclear power plant, working diligently with advanced technology to ensure efficient generation of electricity.

Heavy and civil construction has observed a slight reduction in its median total remuneration gender pay gap over the last three years, according to data published today.

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Proliferated by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the dataset observed a median total remuneration gender pay gap of 25.9 per cent in 2020-21, with the number reducing by 2.5 percentage points to 23.4 per cent in 2022-23. According to Minister for Women, Senator Katy Gallagher, the publication of employer gender pay gaps was pivotal to help establish gender equality in Australian problems, saying the “persistent and complex problem” costs the Australian economy $51.8 billion every year.

“Transparency and accountability are critical for driving change,” she said. “By shining a light on gender pay gaps at an employer level, we are arming individuals and organisations with the evidence they need to take meaningful action to accelerate closing the gender pay gap in Australian workplaces.”

Other key stats of note include the employer gender pay gap policies: according to the WGEA, 73 per cent of employers in the heavy and civil construction subcategory employed a policy for equal remuneration, with 41 per cent including the achievement of gender pay equity, 37 per cent implementing and maintaining transparent performance assessment processes, 24 per cent holding managers accountable for pay equity outcomes, 54 per cent removing gender bias from remuneration review, and 27 per cent of companies being transparent about their pay scales.

Furthermore, when it comes to gender composition by pay quartile, women make up 30 per cent of the lower quartile, with only 11 per cent represented in the upper quartile. Australian Constructors Association President, Annabel Crookes, said the publishing of gender pay and leadership data was important for improving diversity in the construction industry.

“Gender diversity is still a challenge for the construction sector,” said Ms Crookes. “The gender imbalance is one of the toughest problems we have to solve, because it gives rise to so many other cultural issues which are blockers for improving diversity for all.”

Overall, the WGEA data showed that 30 per cent of employers have a median gender pay gap between the target range of -5 per cent and +5 per cent, 62 per cent of median employer gender pay gaps are over 5 per cent and in favour of men, and the rest are less than -5 per cent and in favour of women.

Across all employers, 50 per cent of companies possess a gender pay gap of over 9.1 per cent. Overall, the average total remuneration showed a 21.7 per cent gender pay gap.

The WGEA’s data can be read in full here.


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