Which Industries Are Worst For Gender Pay Gap?

The best and worst revealed.

Article heading image for Which Industries Are Worst For Gender Pay Gap?

Australia's gender pay gap is alive and well, according to the latest report card from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

The government's latest Gender Equality Scorecard reveals the average female full-time worker earned $26,853 less than their male counterparts in 2016-17, blowing out to a staggering $93,884 at the top level of management.

The gap for the worst offender, Finance and Insurance Services, closed by 1.6 per cent at 31.9 per cent for 2016-17.

It's followed by Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services at 31.4 per cent, a pay gap increase of 2.1 per cent on 2015-16.

Construction (27.4), Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (25.7) and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (25.4) rounded out the top five.

The difference was the lowest between genders for Public Administration and Safety (9.2), Wholesale Trade (9.8), Education and Training (10.6), Accommodation and Food Services (11.9) and Manufacturing (13.9).

The report notes a significant 10.8 per cent jump in employers examining their pay data to address the disparity, however this has not translated to a significant improvement to pay packets.

Women also remain under-represented in senior roles, making up just 16.3 per cent of CEO and 37.4 per cent of managerial positions.

The overall pay gap has improved by 1.6 per cent sitting at 23.1 per cent, however WGEA Director Libby Lyons is wary of celebrating the progress. 

“There’s no question we are seeing movement in the right direction, but it’s still too slow."


(Workplace Gender Equality Agency)


  • Gender pay gap (full-time total remuneration): 23.1% (down 1.6 pp)
  • Key Management Personnel who are women: 28.5% (up 2.4 pp)
  • Employers with policies to support gender equality: 70.7% (up 4.5 pp)
  • Employers who have conducted a gender pay gap analysis: 27.0% (up 3.0 pp)
  • Appointments of women to manager roles: 42.6% (new data point)

Note: A gender pay gap is the difference between the average male full-time earnings and average female full-time earnings expressed as a percentage of male earnings. We calculate gender pay gaps across the data set by industry and by manager and occupational categories, excluding CEO salaries. The Agency’s gender pay gap data does not reflect comparisons of women and men in the same roles (that is, like-for-like gaps).

16 November 2017

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