Women are achieving higher levels of education than young men, but still graduating with lower salaries, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Gender Indicators also showed that nearly half (45 per cent) of young women in 2017 graduated with a bachelor’s degree or above by 30, compared to only 32 per cent of men.
However, upon graduation, the median starting salary in 2017 for full-time employed women was $59,000 while for men it was $60,100.
In more positive news, the ratio of female to male CEOs is slowly increasing, reaching one woman to every six male CEOs.
Program Manager, Dean Bowley, noted that the proportion of CEOs who are female had “increased by less than one percentage point to 16.5 per cent between 2013-14 and 2016-17”.
“However, there are more notable increases in the rate of women in other leadership positions, particularly those roles that help influence decisions within organisations.
“Over the same period, the proportion of female key management personnel, general managers and other executives increased by three percentage points with females now occupying around 30 per cent of these roles.”
“Despite this progress, there are still plenty of challenges. The gender pay gap has remained stable over the last decade, with women earning 89 per cent of the earnings of men, taking into account the differences in working hours,” said Mr Bowley.
Why are women still retiring with less?
According to the ABS, the average superannuation balance for women approaching retirement (55 to 64 years old) was $196,000, while for men it was $310,000.
Mr Bowley noted that “superannuation balances for women approaching retirement are 37 per cent lower than men”.
“A key influence on the gap in superannuation balances was the higher proportion of women employed part-time.
“Almost three times as many employed women (44 per cent) worked part-time, when compared to employed men (16 per cent),” said Mr Bowley.