Friday 25 August is Equal Pay Day. This year we’ve seen a very small drop in the Australian gender pay gap, which now sits at 13%.

But SAGE CEO Dr Janin Bredehoeft says this is not a real improvement, and there is a lack of progress happening in most of Australia’s workplaces.


Quotes attributable to Dr Janin Bredehoeft, CEO of Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE):

“There is nothing to celebrate today: Australia’s gender pay gap is persistent and ingrained in societal and organizational structures.”

“We’re not seeing the gender pay gap – or the pay gaps for people of colour, LGBTIQA+ people or people with disabilities – narrowing in any meaningful way because on a broad scale very little is being done to address its underlying causes.”

“One major cause is chronic gender segregation in occupations and industries, with male-dominated work being vastly more valued. For example, in the last six months the pay gap in the Professional Services Industry actually increased by 1.5%.”

“The positive change that’s being reported doesn’t reflect a sustained trend – it’s just noise in the data. Real progress involves significant shifts towards gender equity in the composition of leadership and in the highest paying roles throughout all workplaces.”

“The higher education and research sector has stepped up to lead this progress. Every institution that works with SAGE analyses their own gender pay gap data, tracking change over time as well as collecting intersectional data to analyse the real pay gap. The vast majority have also taken action to narrow or eliminate that gap.”

“It’s by making a commitment to meeting gender targets – and then being transparent and accountable about how we’re getting to that end goal – that will support the systemic change we need.”

Dr Bredehoeft is also available for further comment.


Heather Champion |