Have we made steady gains or stalled progress?

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Connie writes for Financy Women's Index - September quarter released

When you read the Women’s Index this quarter you might feel like I did that, highly encouraged, occasionally disappointed but still optimistic. It’s exciting to hear that the national gender gap fell to a 20 year low but disappointing to read that the only sector where the gender pay gap actually increased was finance and insurance services – the sector I work within.

For the same job the average woman earns $244.80 a week less than the average man. Although I have kept pace with the many proposals to address this discrepancy from long term plans to legislated equality of pay I cannot help but wonder how any professional Board could allow management to continue what is clearly an unfair practice without a clear pathway forward to addressing it.

As a public company CEO I appreciate it is not always possible to instantaneously address matters that may impact the bottom line however that should not excuse having no plan at all. The key point however is pay equality, not women making more than man or vice versa but everyone having the right to earn the same amount of money for undertaking the same role. As a result I was equally disappointed to see the female engineering graduates paid more than male graduates on completion of their undergraduate studies.

So whilst we are making progress one step at a step, let’s hope we are also delivering sustainable change and that we are not experiencing better metrics due to short term political and social pressures. Thank you to the Financy Women’s Index for providing us with positive metrics and for confirming that we are indeed on the right path because reading the news headlines this week made me wonder if we were making any progress at all.

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