Australia's latest gender pay gap stats show some ongoing disparities. 

Data published by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) reveals a median pay gap of 14.5 per cent in base salaries, escalating to 19 per cent when bonuses, overtime, and allowances are considered, for businesses with over 100 employees. 

This disparity is pronounced in white-collar sectors such as banking, accounting, and consulting, where men predominantly occupy high-earning roles, resulting in a 20 per cent lesser earnings for women compared to their male counterparts.

Among the ASX200, a2 Milk reports the largest gender pay gap at 40.5 per cent, followed by Ventia, IPH, and Qantas with substantial disparities as well. 

Energy firms Beach Energy and AGL, alongside Commonwealth Bank, also have significant gaps, indicating a widespread issue.

The disparity has been attributed to historical norms and the underrepresentation of women in technology and engineering fields, which are high-earning. 

While there are efforts to improve women’s representation in these roles, authorities warn of the challenges and time required for significant pay adjustments.

The construction industry leads with the highest gender pay gap at 31.8 per cent, with other sectors like professional, scientific and technical services, and financial and insurance services not far behind. 

Conversely, industries like accommodation and food services, education, and healthcare exhibit the lowest disparities.

The data also reveals that three in five ASX200 companies reported median total pay gaps better than industry benchmarks, indicating some progress towards equality. 

However, disparities persist at senior executive levels, and companies with female CEOs still report a median total pay gap of 17.5 per cent, slightly higher than firms with male leaders.

Companies are undertaking various initiatives to address these disparities, with Qantas, for instance, focusing on encouraging women into traditionally male-dominated roles such as pilots and engineers. Similarly, AustralianSuper and other firms emphasise the importance of fixed pay packages over bonuses to mitigate the gap.

The WGEA and various leaders hope the public accountability from the new transparency regime will spur companies to address gender pay gaps more aggressively. 

A full, searchable list of pay gaps at Australia’s biggest companies is accessible at the WGEA’s website.