There is a lot of confusion over equality and equity, especially in relation to the gender discussion.
I think we would all agree that in Australia women are not equally represented in government or in leadership. In a record shift, we now have 37% women in the house of representatives and 48% in the senate.
Women are not equally paid with the gender pay gap sitting at 13,8% on average based on the WGEA report in March 2022, which means a $13,000 difference on average per year. And that’s the reality of the situation.
Equality is being managed in many organisations with a focus on equal pay for equal work. This is especially happening well in the heavily regulated industries like mining where the pay gap sits at 4-5%. Whilst in professional services, science and technology where jobs are defined around experience, portfolios and networks there are many more reasons to differentiate, and we see the pay gap as high as 24%.
By comparison, Equity is about giving resources to enable everyone to achieve the same goal. This might be about allowing a woman to become a partner in a law firm whilst working part-time hours. It might be about providing the resources to increase the number of women in C-suite positions. To stem the leakage we see equal numbers at entry levels down to 18% at CEO.
Liberation seems very distant but this is about removing the systemic issues that see women underpaid, under-supported and unpromoted.
What we need to know is what practices and actions make a real difference?
Is it a culture where everyone is trained to overcome bystander mentality, where opinions are encouraged and all ideas are heard?
Or is it about flexibility where people can contribute to the organisation at times that suit them enabling them to work around their many carer responsibilities?
This and many other questions we are working to discover with the Gender Equity Awards- recalibrate. Why equity you might ask? Well because there are about 100 years of equity action we need to do in order to achieve equality. So if you know organisations or individuals making a difference please nominate them for the Gender Equity Awards.
Entry is easy taking about 8 minutes for organisations and 5 minutes for individuals https://genderequityawards.com.au/