The gender pay gap in male-oriented sectors such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics needs to be addressed to increase female participation from 10% and overcome the skills shortage.
Marking National Equal Pay Day, Chris Walton CEO of APESMA said fixing pay inequity was an important way to encourage more young women into engineering and science professions and retain their talent in Australia.
“It is now a compelling business argument to address pay inequity and increase the number of women in engineering, science and technology – they have a vital contribution to make,” Mr Walton said.
Mr Walton welcomed Equal Pay Day as a way of raising pay inequity when many people think that the problem has been solved.
“We know that there are large numbers of women that leave science, technological and engineering sectors, and others that don’t progress to senior positions. Addressing pay inequity is one step toward fixing these problems,” Mr Walton said.
Mr Walton said that businesses should use the largely untapped talent of female workers and leaders, who could show often male CEOs, how to harness and maximise capacity.
In APESMA’s National Women’s Survey, pay equality was nominated as the second most important issue to professional women.
The survey results revealed that for the first five years of their career, professional women earned 2.4 per cent less than equivalent men. This inequity increased to 8.5 per cent between 5 and 10 years and then narrows somewhat at higher levels of qualification.