More needs to be done to prevent the talents of female employees being wasted in Australian workplaces.
That’s the upshot of a recent report by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), which highlighted a disparity between women’s good performances in education and their salaries after graduation.
Council chairman John Brumby said the research revealed girls were ahead of boys up until the end of school, yet they emerge into the workplace undervalued.
The statistics showed girls are developmentally more prepared than boys before school, do better during education and are more likely to complete year 12.
Despite this, the gender pay gap is 17.5 per cent, with men earning nearly one-fifth more than female employees.
The report also found there is a lack of leadership development for women and their workforce participation is lower.
“The World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap report recently ranked Australia first in female educational attainment out of 136 participating countries – but when it came to labour force participation we plummeted to 52nd,” Mr Brumby said.
“Any discussion about the future economic wellbeing of our nation will revolve around productivity – women make up half our population and are therefore half of the productivity story.”
The COAG report was compiled in an effort to assist with the development of a national framework for gender equality, with Mr Brumby stating there were a number of positives to be taken from its results.
However, he advised against complacency, stating: “In this highly competitive global environment we simply cannot afford to waste the talents and perspective of half of our population.”
The ACT government welcomed the release of the report, with it showing the territory has the smallest gap in labour force participation across Australia.
In terms of salaries, women working in the ACT earned 14.8 per cent less than men, which compared favourably with the national average of 17.5 per cent.