Professional Scientists Australia has released a national study looking at the conditions and remuneration of scientists in Australia which finds there is a significant gender pay gap.
- $23,000 gender pay gap in the hard sciences and $13,000 in the soft sciences.
The survey found the gender pay gap was attributable to a combination of factors including less women in senior roles and women leaving the science workforce after the age of 35.
The Professional Scientists Employment & Remuneration Report women were much more likely to report having experienced discrimination in the workplace of any type than their male counterparts over the previous three years.
- 4 per cent of female respondents said they had experienced bias or discrimination compared with 7.2 per cent of male respondents.
Other key concerns among scientists include:
- 7 per cent of respondents reported that cost-cutting was an issue in their organisation.
- 9 per cent saw misallocation of resources as an issue in their workplace.
- 8 per cent of respondents noted fewer scientists in decision-maker roles over the previous 12 months. Concern was greatest in the Public administration and safety and Health industries with 42.4 and 39.4 per cent of respondents respectively reporting fewer scientists in such roles.
- 6 per cent of respondents said reduced adherence to professional standards was evident in their organisation over the last 12 months.
- 7 per cent of respondents reduced service quality was evident in their organisation over the last 12 months.
Quotes attributable to Chris Walton, CEO Professional Scientists Australia (a division of Professionals Australia):
“Its little wonder that Australia is going backwards in science when women are paid an average $23,000 less than men in the workforce.
“We need to attract and retain women in science, not push them away with discrimination and poor pay.
“Australia is losing the reputation as the clever country because our science organisations are de-investing in their own scientific capability, including their people.
“We need to better recognise and reward our scientists for the important work they do, while also giving them their resources and people needed to do their job.”
The key findings are contained in the full report which is available here.
Media contact: Tim O’Halloran 0409 059 617
 ‘Soft’ sciences include: biology, psychology, agricultural science, botany, computer science, environmental science, food science/technology, forestry, marine science, microbiology, medical science, pharmacology, surveying and veterinary science. ‘Hard’ sciences include: manufacturing, materials/metallurgy, geology/geoscience, chemistry, biochemistry, physics and mathematics.