AS THE world celebrates the achievements of women across the globe, locals weigh in on just how long it will take to see gender pay equality in the workforce.
It comes as a trailblazing report reveals the initial average full-time starting wage for women is $34,400 compared to $39,000 for men, widening the gender earnings gap to $123.4 billion per year.
Wagga Women in Business president Genevieve Fleming said a paradigm shift was needed to ensure our daughters and granddaughters can be afforded the simple luxury of equal pay in years to come.
“There’s still a long way to,” she said.
“There are a lot of prejudice about stereotypical roles, such as, women don’t need to be paid as much because presumably they’ll get married, but that’s not only demeaning for women, but it’s also demeaning for men.”
According to the Westpac International Women’s Day Report, 60 per cent of women are not proactive in requesting a pay rise, while The Australian Council of Trade Unions reports that by the time women retire, they have less than half the superannuation of men: $138,150 compared to $292,500.
Mrs Fleming welcomed NSW Premier Mike Baird’s pledge to open flexible working arrangements to all senior executive jobs in the public service as a step forward in addressing the pay divide.
With only about two per cent of those jobs filled via a flexible arrangement, Mr Baird announced on Tuesday that “100 per cent of public service jobs will be flexible by 2019”.
“We’re very lucky because we do have choices,” Mrs Fleming said of being an Australian woman. “Some women have an inferiority complex, but we need to be better positioned to (change that). I think it is time for a bit of a paradigm shift.”
Wagga’s only female councillor, Yvonne Braid, said it was time women supported one another to realise their full potential in the workforce.
“We’re gradually making headway, but we’re still at least 10 years out (from closing gender pay gap),” Cr Braid said.
“Women need to support each other, we’ve got to break down that barrier. It’s about changing attitudes and making sure women know that they can do everything a male can. They need to be brought up saying, I’m equal to any male.”