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Summary: 
Whether you find New Year’s resolutions tokenistic or are a firm believer – the end of the year is a great opportunity to gauge your goals for the coming year.
Body: 

Whether you find New Year’s resolutions tokenistic or are a firm believer – the end of the year is a great opportunity to gauge your goals for the coming year. You do not have to confine this kind of reflection to your personal life either. It is important to take this time to create impactful resolutions for what you want to achieve in your organisation. Here are three things that you should consider as you approach 2019.

Resolution 1: Conduct a pay gap analysis
  • “CEOs make decisions based on fact. Before you dismiss pay equity as not being a problem in your organisation, you have to look at the data,” Andrew Stevens, former CEO, IBM.

Unintended gender biases in hiring, promotion, performance and pay decisions can lead to pay inequality in almost every organisation.

Our data shows that pay equity analysis is on the rise, with 41.6% of organisations analysing pay data. Don’t let your organisation fall behind the trend. Your organisation won’t know of any potential pay equity issues if they are not measured in the first instance.

Resolution 2: Report pay equity metrics to the Executive and Board
  • “Pay equity is not something leaders can set and forget – it requires an understanding of the data and a willingness to investigate and address the gaps every time pay outcomes are determined,” Christine Christian, former President, Chief Executive Women.

Only 29.4% of organisations report their pay equity metrics to the executive. Reporting gender pay gap metrics to leaders is a critical step to addressing gender pay gaps. Actions your organisation may take to correct like-for-like gender pay gaps are three times as effective in reducing overall pay inequalities if you also report the metrics to Executive and Board.

Resolution 3: Take action on the results
  • “It’s up to every leader to call out gender equality as a key priority for their organisation. It takes more than just words, you need a clear plan with measurable outcomes. It starts with the CEO and everyone needs to work together to drive change,” Gail Kelly, former CEO, Westpac.

Our data has revealed an action gap when it comes to addressing gender equality. For example, of those employers that conducted a gender pay gap analysis, over half of those organisations took no action to fix the gaps. It is important to prioritise the issues of your organisation, set measureable goals around pay equity and develop an action plan for your organisation.  

Bonus resolution: Become a Pay Equity Ambassador

If your organisation has completed the above steps, consider signing up to the WGEA Pay Equity Ambassador program.

So countdown to 2019 with these three resolutions in mind and you will be sure to have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Summary: 
What a big month November was! It feels like we are only now just starting to catch our breath after the sprint across the country for the 2018 data launch.
Body: 

  

What a big month November was! It feels like we are only now just starting to catch our breath after the sprint across the country for the 2018 data launch.

This year marked the fifth year of data collected from Australian employers in the private sector. For the Agency, five years of data is momentous because it gives us a detailed picture about how trends in workplace policies and practice are making a difference in gender equality.

We were thrilled to see the packed rooms for each event during our national roadshow. We travelled from Canberra to Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. At each event, there were lively discussions about the change that is happening in Australian workplaces.

In some areas, it is happening quickly. In others, far too slowly. One fact that is confirmed year-on-year is the importance of measuring workplace gender equality – but the data also shows us that we must not become complacent. Sitting among the hundreds of attendees, representing so many organisations, we were optimistic that the strong increase in employer action on gender equality will continue to grow. Our data shows clear evidence that employer action has delivered real results.

We were also very fortunate to share this year’s data launch journey with Elysia McCaffrey, Deputy Head of the UK Government Equalities Office and Head of Gender. Elysia provided fascinating insights from the UK and shared with us a wealth of knowledge.

Our discussions at each event allowed us to explore in great detail the shared challenges and potential solutions for Australia and the UK. Making this international connection can only benefit our two countries and we look forward to continuing our work together.

What was clear from the conversations being had at each event was that closing the gender gap at work is a growing priority for policy makers and employers alike. It is gratifying to report such positive outcomes for the 2017-18 dataset.

What we now need to see over the next five years and beyond is more action to keep delivering improvements in gender equality outcomes in Australian workplaces for women and men.

Thank you to everyone who attended our events and the Australian British Chamber of Commerce for collaborating with us throughout the event roadshow. Don’t forget to check out the ABCC website for photos from the event.

See you all again next year!

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Summary: 
The end of the year is a busy time for business. Aside from the Christmas parties, leave preparations and tying up loose ends, businesses are getting ready to wrap up 2018 and plan for the year ahead.
Body: 

The end of the year is a busy time for business. Aside from the Christmas parties, leave preparations and tying up loose ends, businesses are getting ready to wrap up 2018 and plan for the year ahead. To help you prepare for the coming year, we have built customised Competitor Analysis Benchmark (CAB) Reports for each reporting organisation.

The CAB Reports are a powerful business intelligence tool, allowing organisations to compare gender equality performance to their competitors. What is even more exciting is that we offer this resource free to you as a thank you for all the work you undertake throughout the reporting period.

Competitor Analysis Benchmark Reports - Libby Lyons - YouTube

Each unique report identifies areas of strength, areas for improvement and a five-year snapshot for you to track performance over time. The CAB report allows you to see where your organisation sits amongst the entire WGEA dataset, organisations within the same industry and a pool of similar structured organisations.

For example, the gender pay gap comparison is a valuable tool to gauge your organisation’s overall performance on gender equality.

To provide you with an accurate picture, we calculate each reporting organisation’s pay gap separately and provide you with your organisation’s rank compared to the mid-point. This helps you see whether your organisation is outperforming or falling behind the bulk of organisations in the comparison pool.

To help you interpret all the benchmark results of your CAB report, we have a useful Insights Guide to assist you.

CAB reports are available now. Access your CAB report today and start your 2019 ahead of your competitors.

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Summary: 
It was this month, 135 years ago that Julia Margaret Guerin (Bella for short) graduated from Melbourne University. Who is Bella you ask?
Body: 

It was this month, 135 years ago that Julia Margaret Guerin (Bella for short) graduated from Melbourne University. Who is Bella you ask? She was the first ever woman to graduate from a university in Australia.

Women were permitted to undertake study at Australian universities from the 1880s. Bella commenced her Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne University in 1881, with just three other women starting degrees there at that time. She went on to obtain her Masters in 1885. 

Fast forward to 2018 and the higher education landscape is very different.

Women's participation in higher education is expanding in Australia and women now outnumber men in overall enrolments. In 2016, women represented 55.9% of enrolled domestic students across all universities or other institutions that award some but not all of these degrees: Diplomas, Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate.

The latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey also found that more women than men are actually graduating from tertiary education. 

Beyond graduation, the proportion of women and men entering the labour market on a full- time basis is relatively high and gender balanced.

With most women and men entering the workforce on seemingly equal footing, Bella sure would be shocked to find out that a gender pay gap still exists in favour of men across 17 out of 19 fields of study and across nine out of 13 industries.

What that means is the gender pay gap that follows most women throughout their entire lives, begins at graduation. And in economic terms, lower salaries mean that women receive lower rewards from investing in their tertiary education than men.

For those undergraduate women studying an architecture and built environment, they experience a 13.0% graduate gender pay gap. Law and paralegal studies, undergraduate women face a 7.9% gap; and humanities, culture and social sciences, a 7.6% gap.

So while more women than men graduate from higher education institutions and receive the same education as men, women continue to be undervalued in the majority of study fields and industries at the start of their career.

But there are actions women can take:

  • Check the Higher Education Enrolments and Graduate Labour Market Statistics fact sheet to see graduate gender pay gaps in your field.
  • Know your worth and benchmark your salary expectations against your peers and not against your salary history.
  • Don't limit yourself to careers that are considered 'traditional' for women.

Image credit: State Library of Victoria, "Miss Bella Guerin, first lady graduate at the Melbourne University, IAN24/12/83/204"
Source: Farley Kelly, 'Guerin, Julia Margaret (Bella) (1858–1923)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/guerin-julia-margaret-bella-6503/text11153

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Summary: 
This year’s WGEA data shows that year-on-year the gender pay gap has trended downward each year However, for the fifth year in a row, the gender pay gap persists across all industry and occupations.
Body: 

This year’s WGEA data shows that year-on-year the gender pay gap has trended downward each year However, for the fifth year in a row, the gender pay gap persists across all industry and occupations.

The total remuneration gender pay gap now sits at 21.3%. That is a drop of 3.4 percentage points in the last five years.

Gender pay gaps across the WGEA dataset are an indicator of women’s overall position in the workforce and do not compare like roles.

Women’s overall position is moving at a slow pace towards equality as gender pay gaps favour men across all industries and occupations in the workforce.

Financial and Insurance Services remains the industry with the highest total remuneration gender pay gap at 30.3% (accounts to an annual difference of $48,884). However, it has decreased from 36.1% in 2013-14.

Construction has now replaced Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services as the industry with the second-highest gender pay gap at 29.4% ($39,950). Construction saw a 4.0 percentage point increase in their pay gap this year. There was a 5.1pp decline in the gender pay gap in Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services to 26.3% - the largest single drop of any industry sector.

The female-dominated industry of Health Care and Social Assistance saw a second annual increase in its gender pay gap (up 1.4pp from 14.7% in 2015-16 to 16.1% in 2017-18).

The gender pay gap has declined in all manager categories over the past 12 months with the largest decrease occurring in the Senior Manager category (down 2.3 pp). There has also been a decrease in every occupational category with the exception of Community and Personal services which saw a slight increase of 0.4pp.

Find out how your own industry and occupational category is performing on gender pay gaps by visiting our Data Explorer.

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Summary: 
The 2017-18 data is in and it shows that access to paid parental leave has stalled carers of both genders.
Body: 

The 2017-18 data is in and it shows that access to paid parental leave has stalled carers of both genders. This is a disappointing result, as employees of both genders try to combine work with their caring responsibilities as a normal part of life. 

Parental leave

Paid parental leave encourages and supports women and men in their role as both employees and carers. Unfortunately, five years of WGEA data reveals that growth in access to parental leave for primary and secondary carers has all but flatlined.

  • Over half of employers do not provide paid primary carer’s leave in addition to the government scheme. In 2013-14, 48.5% of employers offered primary carers leave. In 2017-18 this figure  by 0.7 percentage points to 47.8%.
  • There was a slightly better improvement with secondary carer’s leave. It saw a 3.0 percentage point increase from 38.8% of employers in 2013-14 to 41.8% in 2017-18.
  • For the first time in three years, the proportion of employers offering non-leave based measures to support employees with caring responsibilities has increased (up 1.8pp to 53.7%).

Flexible work

A culture that supports both women and men to adopt flexible working practices or part-time work supports employees with their caring responsibilities.

  • Fortunately, more employers are prioritising flexible work year-on-year, with a 13.2 percentage point increase in organisations adopting a flexible working policy or strategy between 2013-14 to 2017-18.
  • This year’s data shows 7 in 10 organisations promote flexible work in this way.
  • However, just one in four provide manager training on flexible work and not even one in 20 set targets for employee engagement in flexible work.

These results show a lack of accountability towards the practical implementation of flexible work for Australian employees.

Gender divide in roles persists

There is an unequal distribution of care work that falls more greatly on the shoulders of women. This unequal distribution entrenches gender stereotypes, such as ‘the male breadwinner’ and ‘the female homemaker’.

Encouraging men to utilise parental leave and engage in flexible work are key enablers to increasing women’s workforce participation and upward career trajectories.

However, our data shows that the carer divide between genders remains firm:

  • Women account for 94.9% of all primary carer’s leave utilised with men accounting for only 5.1%.
  • Overall, women account for 72.2% of all carer’s leave while men comprise the remaining 27.8%.
  • Less than two in 100 have set targets for men's engagement in flexible work.

Employers must prioritise strategies and actions that support carers – and in particular men.

To read more about the five year findings, check out our Scorecard and Five Year Booklet

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Summary: 
Today, alongside the launch of WGEA’s fifth year of data, we have also launched a brand new way for you to explore WGEA’s archives of individual employers’ data.
Body: 

Today, alongside the launch of WGEA’s fifth year of data, we have also launched a brand new way for you to explore WGEA’s archives of individual employers’ data. The WGEA Data Explorer has been updated and is now a one-stop shop for all public data collected by the Agency. 

The new functionality of the Data Explorer allows all users to search for data specifically from individual employers. However, the Data Explorer only displays information that was already readily available on the WGEA website under Public Reports.

Through the Data Explorer, employers’ public data is now easier to access and understand, with interactive tabs and graphs for each gender equality indicator.

It is the first time in WGEA’s history that employers’ data is accessible in this format and visualised through comprehensive graphs, comparing the employers’ public data with its industry’s data.

This world-leading resource now features four options to visualise and explore WGEA’s dataset, covering over 4 million employees across Australia: 

  • ‘Overview’ section: see how each industry is performing, visualised by a scatterplot of all industries.
  • ‘Industries’ section: drill down into the gender equality indicators for a particular industry, with the option to focus down into industry segments.
  • ‘Organisations’ section: search an organisation’s public report with new, easy to understand graphs for each data point.
  • ‘Comparison’ section: compare the performance of two industry segments side-by-side.

Navigate the updated Data Explorer today to view the five-year data picture of gender equality in Australian workplaces, or download the 2017-18 gender equality scorecard

If you want to learn more about how WGEA shares its data, visit the WGEA Protocol on sharing reporting data.

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Summary: 
The latest WGEA data confirms that when Australian employers take action, the gender pay gap declines. Five years of WGEA data shows that year-on-year employer action to address pay equity has increased and year-on-year the gender pay gap has decreased.
Body: 

The latest WGEA data confirms that when Australian employers take action- the gender pay gap declines. Five years of WGEA data shows that year-on-year employer action to address pay equity has increased and year-on-year the gender pay gap has decreased.

It is clear that employer actions are making a difference; unfortunately our data has uncovered a serious action gap in Australian workplaces.

The fifth year of data demonstrates an ongoing trend: there is a disconnect between organisations committing to gender equality and taking real action to address the issues.  

We refer to this disconnect as the ‘action gap’. For example:

  • More than one in two employers (58.4%) do not analyse their pay data for gender pay gaps.
  • Over 70% of employers have a policy or strategy to support gender equality, but only just over 30% have manager KPIs related to gender equality.
  • Only a small number of organisations (17.9%) that conducted a gender pay gap analysis are actually reporting pay equity metrics up to the boards and governing bodies.
  • 41.5% of employers who did a pay gap analysis took no action to address it.
  • Over 70% of employers have a policy or strategy to promote flexible work, but only one in four (27.0%) provided manager training on flexible work and only 24.7% provided employee training throughout the organisation.  

One positive trend that has emerged is that the data shows organisations are prioritising gender equality in their workplaces more than ever.

There has been strong growth in the implementation of gender equality policies and strategies. And employers that conduct a pay equity analysis continues to rise.

It is clear from the data that actions speak louder than words in achieving genuine change in the workplace. Organisations must do more than simply codify good intentions. Change requires action and accountability from the top-down.

See our Gender Strategy Toolkit to get the full picture on how to achieve gender equality in your organisation. 

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Summary: 
October 10 is World Mental Health day, a day that aims to raise awareness about the prevalence of Mental health in our communities. According to Mental Health Australia, one in five Australians are affected by mental illness.
Body: 

October 10 is World Mental Health day, a day that aims to raise awareness about the prevalence of mental health issues in our communities. According to Mental Health Australia, one in five Australians are affected by mental illness. In Australia, men die from suicide at three times the rate of women.

'Do you see what I see?' - World Mental Health Day - 10 October - YouTube

One in five Australians have taken time off due to stress, anxiety, depression or generally poor mental health annually.  

Studies have found that workplace factors contribute to poor mental health, in particular among men. Mental health issues are more likely to go undiagnosed in men, as they tend to have lower awareness about mental-health related issues than women. Men are therefore less likely to visit their doctor, use mental health services and discuss mental health issues.

Men that work in male-dominated industries are also at a higher risk of depression, due to the masculine culture that exists within those industries.

Workplace factors that contribute to poor mental health include:

  • High job demands
  • Low job control
  • Work overload or pressure
  • Lack of control and participation in decision-making
  • Unclear work role
  • Job insecurity
  • Long working hours
  • Bullying
  • Poor communication
  • Inadequate resources

Australian employees place high value on workplaces that provide a supportive and healthy environment. In fact, research shows that 91% of Australian employees believe mental health in the workplace is important. However, despite its high importance, only half of employees believe their workplace is mentally healthy.

Poor mental health in workplaces can also have a significant impact on the economy. PwC found that the estimated cost to Australian workplaces is about 10.9 billion annually for untreated mental health conditions:

  • $4.7 billion for absenteeism;
  • $6.1 billion in presenteeism (when an employee is present at work but has a compromised ability to function due, usually due to illness, poor mental health or exhaustion);
  • $146 million in workplace compensation claims.

The Australian Human Rights Commission found that a total of 3.2 days per employee are lost annually due to workplace stress.

Therefore, having mentally healthy workplaces makes sound economic sense. PwC also found organisations that put in place effective actions to create a mentally healthy workplace received a positive return on investment – for every dollar spent, there was an average $2.30 return.

A joint study conducted by the University of New South Wales, the Black Dog Institute and the National Mental Health Commission recommends flexible work as an effective workplace intervention.

The report concluded, “Increased job control has been found to predict better mental health outcomes among employees… Providing flexibility not only has promising outcomes for employees facing mental health problems but also for carers of individuals with mental illness. There is promising evidence for the use of such strategies in the workplace being associated with improved mental health outcomes for employees as well as overall workplace productivity and reduced absenteeism.”

There are plenty of other actions that can be taken in workplaces to facilitate better mental health. The Australian Human Rights Commission has a Practical Guide for Managers.

If you or someone you care for is in need of immediate assistance you can contact the below National 24/7 Crisis Counselling Services.

Lifeline
13 11 14
www.lifeline.org.au

Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467
www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Beyondblue
1300 22 4636
www.beyondblue.org.au

MensLine Australia
1300 78 99 78
www.mensline.org.au

Kids Helpline
1800 55 1800 (27/7 crisis support)
www.kidshelpline.com.au

Headspace
1800 650 890
www.headspace.org.au (direct clinical services)

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service
1800 011 046
www.vvcs.gov.au

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Summary: 
At the moment, the Agency is busily preparing to release the 2017-18 gender reporting data in November. This will be the fifth year of data collected under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.
Body: 

At the moment, the Agency is busily preparing to release the 2017-18 gender reporting data in November. This will be the fifth year of data collected under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.

Our dataset has already provided unique insights into the state of gender equality in Australia, measuring year on year, the progress towards gender equality in our workplaces. Last year’s results revealed that more employers than ever consider gender equality a business imperative.

The fifth year of data will provide a comprehensive picture of the systematic transformations taking place in Australia’s workplaces  and also the areas that still require more employer action.

Last year, the data highlights included:

  • The full-time gender pay gap trended down, but men still took home $26,527 a year more than women on average. Finance and Insurance Services won the pay gap crown, with the highest gender pay gap at 31.9%. However, the crown was nearly snatched by Real Estate Services at 31.4%.
  • Women’s promotions were on the rise, as 43.4% of manager appointments went to women (although women still only made up 38.4% of all managers). However, female representation on boards had stalled at 24.9%.
  • Employers analysing their pay data for gender gaps jumped almost 11 percentage points to 37.7%. And more managers were held accountable through gender equality focused KPIs, jumping up 5 percentage points.
  • Employers placed more value on flexible work, as 68.3% had a policy or strategy for flexible work. But only one in four employers offered manager training on flexibility.

Will the 2017-18 data show continued movement in the right direction? You will have to wait until November 2018 to find out. In the meantime, you can deep dive into the 2016-17 data here: Data Explorer.

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