The gender pay gap is (slightly) down!

The gender pay gap is (slightly) down!

Good news! The gender pay gap is down.

It’s at 15.3%, down 0.9% over the previous 12-month period, according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

That means Equal Pay Day will this year fall on Monday the 4th September, marking the additional time from the end of the past financial year that women must work in order to earn the same yearly salary as men.

WGEA crunched the numbers based on new average weekly earnings data, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

The stats found that the average full-time working man is on $1,638.30 per week, compared with the $1,387.10 a woman is taking home. That’s a difference of $251.20 per week.

So great news the pay gap is down, but an extra $251,20 a week would certainly be handy for plenty of women, adding up to more than $13,000 a year.

Sadly, we also can’t assume the pay gap simply continues to go down with time. It was at a low of 14.9% in November 2004 and went up from there, hitting more than 18% in 2014.

Even if it continued to drop 0.9 percentage points a year, we’d still have another 17 years to wait before equal pay, adding up around $200,000 in missed pay.

And 17 years would actually be an optimistic estimate. International research suggests it’ll actually take decades, unless more work is done.

You can mark Equal Pay Day using the #EPD2017 hashtag across social media. It won’t bring back the cash women already missed out on over the previous financial year, but it might just do something to raise more awareness of the issue — and see an additional drop in the figure this time in 2018.

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