Update: Rose McGowan has shared her support for the walkout, and called on more to get involved. Watch her video below.
If women working full-time put in 14.6 per cent less hours in order to account for the national gender pay gap, the value of their contributions might just get a little more attention.
So on December the 5th, that’s what a group of women in Sydney are planning on doing: stopping work at 3:50 pm to walk out, meet up, and protest the gender pay gap for #WalkoutOZ.
The group, including Fi Bendall who founded the Female Social Network, calculated that on a standard eight hour day, 3:50pm is the time women working full-time are, on average, working until they stop getting paid, compared with their average full-time working male counterparts.
The time is based on ABS data measuring average full-time weekly earnings between men and women, which in August put the national gender pay gap at 14.6 per cent.
Recently, WGEA released further comprehensive data based on the its annual survey of employers, finding that the gender pay gap on total remuneration (when you factor in bonuses and other payments) is at 21.3 per cent, down from 24.7 per cent five years ago. In some industries, the total remuneration gap has actually increased, including in construction where it’s up 2 per cent to 29.4 per cent.
Since 1975, women in Iceland have been famously staging early work walkouts to protest their country’s national pay gap. Their fifth such walkout occurred this October, when they left at 2:55pm. “We have gained only 47 minutes in 13 years,” the organisers said, noting the 2005 walkout that occurred at 2.08pm.
One of the Sydney organisers, Adrianne Nixon, says that the gender pay gap is especially problematic when it comes to superannuation and single women — and notes the concerning figure that women over 55 are the fastest growing cohort of homelessness in Australia. “Women overall will move into their retirement years with less economic security than men. And the trickle down effect is profound,” she says. “But we’re not in it alone. Of course we’re not. We’re in it together.”
She says that the walkout aims to maintain awareness of these issues and help move towards making a change for the economic security of women.
They’ll meet in Sydney’s Martin Place and are inviting other women to join them too, and share info on the event at #WalkoutOz, with guests including Eva Cox.
UPDATE: Speaking on Ten’s The Project on Tuesday night, Rose McGowan shared her support for the walkout happening in Sydney, and said she hoped that more men would show their support.
“I’ve been incredibly involved with Australia for a long time, I’ve been there numerous times and I just have such a love for that country,” she said.
“I just thought I could lend my voice.”
Sharing a video post, McGowan urged women and men to speak up against inequality in wages. “Join us, be brave, speak up.”