Here's What Australian Companies Are Doing About The Gender Pay Gap

It starts with a conversation.
Nine out of 10 HR managers acknowledge a difference in salaries across genders.
Nine out of 10 HR managers acknowledge a difference in salaries across genders.

Along with the dwindling number of females in cabinet and boardrooms, Aussie women who graduated with the same degree, and joined the same company continue to earn substantially less than men at every level.

Last November, figures released from Australia's Workplace Gender Equality Agency revealed a gender pay gap of 23 percent, with disparity existing even if a woman does exactly the same work as a male colleague in the same workplace.

Since then a number of companies have got to work in addressing the issue, by taking various approaches including the introduction of pay transparency.

"While today's female professionals have more opportunities available to them -- the pay disparity continues which highlights the need for companies to take action," Nicole Gorton, director of specialised recruitment company, Robert Half Australia told The Huffington Post Australia.

Under the current Fair Work Act 2009 there are restrictions on private sector employees' rights to disclose a broad range of information about the employee's pay or earnings with co-workers.

Naturally, this creates a culture of 'salary secrecy', Gorton explains.

As a result, individual agreements allow for salary level discrepancies to arise among male and female employees.

So what's being done on the ground?

Robert Half recently asked 100 Australian HR managers what measures their company is taking with the aim to close the gender pay gap.

They found one in three Australian HR managers are implementing pay transparency, while more than a quarter are undertaking salary audits. And a similar proportion (27 percent) are currently monitoring promotions and pay rises.

Encouragingly (er, or not) only three percent say they are taking no measures at all.

The bottom line? Women need a raise.