Gender equality scorecard' finds gaps in every industry

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) have released the latest ‘gender equality scorecard’, finding that while many areas have seen improvement there is still a ways to go. 

This data gives an overview on how workplaces in 2016-17 addressed pay gaps and gender imbalances. 

The WGEA found the following:

  • Men earn $26k a year more than women, however this is trending down (0.4 percentage points lower than the year before)
  • Promotions are on the rise, with women making up 38.4 per cent of all managers
  • Employers with flexible work policies has increased 5.3 percentage points to 68.3 per cent
  • The promotion of women directors on board and governing bodies is at 24.9 per cent, up 0.2 percentage points.
  • More employers are being held accountable for gender inequality, with KPIs relating to promotion, retention and talent identification increasing 5 percentage points 

These figures show that while every single industry and occupation across the Australian workforce has a “full-time gender pay gap favouring men”, more employers are acting to address pay gaps and gender imbalances. 

‘Technicians and Trades workers’ recorded the largest gender pay gap, with a 26.7 per cent difference worth $28,042.  

Libby Lyons, WGEA Director, said the latest figures show “strong improvement in employer awareness but the pace of change needs to increase.” 

“In Australia today, men still out earn women in every industry and across all occupations. 

“This is not about women’s choices: whether you are a manager, a scientist, a butcher, a baker or even a TV presenter, there is a gender pay gap favouring men. 

“The sharp increases in employer action show that the momentum for improved gender equality is building. 

“I am very encouraged that many more employers are now analysing their pay data for gender pay gaps and hopeful this will flow through to improved pay outcomes for women in the years ahead. 

“Other positive developments include an increase in managers having KPIs related to gender equality and more women are being appointed to manager roles. 

“Unfortunately, the number of women on boards remains static and too few organisations are reporting their gender metrics up to the board. We need to see some real change. Boards must take more accountability for gender equality,” said Ms Lyons.

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Learn more about savings accounts

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While personal loans and medium amount loans don’t offer guaranteed approval, there are steps you can take to help increase the likelihood of your application being approved, including:

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Can you set up direct debits from a savings account?

It’s not usually possible to set up a direct debit from your savings account to cover ongoing expenses or bills, as savings accounts are structured around growing your wealth by earning interest on regular deposits, and discouraging withdrawals.

Some transaction accounts allow you to set up direct debits and also earn interest, though you may not enjoy as much flexibility as a dedicated transaction account, or get as high an interest rate as a dedicated savings account.

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of bank account in which you earn interest on the money you deposit. This makes it one of the easiest and safest investment tools.

Can I overdraft my savings account?

A lot of savings accounts won’t let you overdraw. Some will allow this feature but you’ll need to apply first. It’s best to read the fine print and check with your lender whether this is a feature they offer. It can be a helpful addition, but as your lender can charge you a fee as well as interest for going into negative numbers, it’s best to avoid overdrafting when possible.

Can you have a joint savings account?

Yes. Joint savings accounts can be useful for two or more people wanting to combine their savings to meet shared financial goals, including spouses, flatmates and business partners.

Some joint savings accounts require all parties to sign before they can access the money. While less convenient, this extra security can help encourage all parties to meet their shared financial goals.

Other joint savings accounts allow any of the account holders to access the money. These accounts can be convenient for financially responsible couples that trust one another implicitly. 

What is a good interest rate for a savings account?

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind with savings accounts is to look for a rate that is higher than the CPI inflation rate. This number is constantly changing, so check the Reserve Bank of Australia’s page. If you aren’t earning interest above this then the value of your money will go backwards over time.

How to make money with a savings account?

Savings accounts make you money by earning interest on your savings. The more money you deposit, the longer you leave it in the account, and the higher the account’s interest rate, the more interest you’ll be paid by the bank or financial institution, and the more your wealth will grow.

To make sure your savings account makes money and doesn’t lose money, it’s important to maintain a large enough minimum balance that the annual interest earned exceeds any annual fees charged on the account.

How much money should I have in my savings account?

A good rule of thumb when working out a minimum balance for your savings account is to make sure that you’ll earn more in annual interest on your savings than what you’ll be charged in annual fees.

If you’re saving with a specific goal in mind, prepare a budget so the interest you earn on your deposits will help you efficiently reach this goal. Online financial calculators may be helpful here.

How does interest work on savings accounts?

The type of interest savings accounts accrues is called compound interest. Compound interest is interest paid on the initial deposit amount, as well as the accumulated interest on money you have. This is different from simple interest where interest is paid at the end of a specified term. Compound interest allows you to earn interest on interest at a higher frequency. 

Example: John deposits $10,000 into a savings account with an interest rate of 5 per cent that he leaves untouched for 10 years. At the end of the first year he will have $10,512 in savings. After ten years, he will have saved $16,470.

What is the interest rate on savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to look at interest rates on savings accounts is to use a savings accounts comparison tool. When you look at the savings rate check what the maximum and minimum rates are. Often banks will offer you a promotional rate for the first few months which is competitive, but then revert back to a base rate which can sometimes be less than inflation. Ongoing bonus rates are often a safer bet as they will keep rewarding you with the maximum rate, provided you meet their criteria

Can you direct deposit to a savings account?

Yes. You can make one off payments or set up regular direct deposits into a savings account. This can be organised easily through online banking or by making deposits in a branch. Talk to your lender to find out the easiest way for you to set up direct deposits.

How do I open a savings account?

Opening a savings account is a relatively simple process. If you’ve found an account with a suitable interest rate, you’ll just need to get in contact with your chosen lender via a branch, phone call or hop online to begin the process. 

You may be required to provide:

  • Personal details, including identification (driver’s license, passport etc.)
  • Tax file number
  • Employment details

How to open a savings account for my child?

Some banks and financial institutions allow parents to open a bank account for their child as soon as it is born, and start depositing funds to go towards the child’s future.

Children’s savings accounts generally don’t have fees, and are structured to help develop positive financial habits by limiting withdrawals, encouraging regular deposits, and earning interest on the savings, similarly to standard savings accounts.

Can you set up a savings account online?

Yes. Several large and small banks offer online applications for savings accounts, and there are also online-only financial institutions to consider.

Online-only savings accounts are often less expensive than other savings accounts, though they may not offer the same flexibility, features, or face-to-face service as more traditional savings accounts.