Monash announces ambitious target to reduce gender pay gap

Today is Equal Pay Day, a symbolic indicator of the national gender pay gap and a prompt for discussion on the barriers to equality that women continue to encounter in their workplaces.

The gender pay gap refers to the difference between women’s and men’s average weekly full-time base salary earnings, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. It is a measure of women’s overall financial position in the paid workforce.

The national gender pay gap of 14 per cent is influenced by a number of factors, including potential bias in hiring, promotion and remuneration decisions and gender segregated industries.

Speaking on the importance of Equal Pay Day, President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO, said the event is an opportunity to reflect on the advances Monash has made to close the gender pay gap and to explore how the University can further innovate to improve gender equity.

In 2015 Professor Gardner signed the landmark Pay Equity Pledge, a commitment by influential business leaders to reducing gender pay gap.

"Pay equity is a core element of Monash’s Gender Equity Strategy. As part of our commitment to reduce our gender pay gap, we know we must adopt a multi-faceted approach that promotes workplace flexibility, actively supports staff who are parents and carers and implements strategies to mitigate the effects of unconscious bias,'' Professor Gardner said.

The Monash workforce profile continues to have a gender skew. While 57 per cent of our staff are women, they hold only 38 per cent of senior roles. Progress has been historically slow, rising from 35 per cent in 2015.

In senior professional roles women are close to parity at 47.3 per cent, however in academic roles they make up only 29 per cent of Professors.

"We routinely analyse our remuneration data, and the leading cause of our Monash-wide gender pay gap of 13 per cent is women being underrepresented at the professorial level,” Professor Gardner said.

Our senior leadership team have recently endorsed a gender equity target to improve the representation of women in senior roles from 38 to 42 per cent by 2022.

Professor Gardner restated the University’s commitment to meeting the new target. “Over the next three years we would like to see our pay gap halved”.

"These targets are ambitious, and to achieve them will require our collective endeavour, improving the representation of women among new recruits, and boosting our support for early to mid-career academic women, particularly in the traditionally male-dominated STEMM disciplines where their retention is paramount,” Professor Gardner said.

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