Australian business reveals 12% gender pay gap

Simone Ziaziaris
(Australian Associated Press)

Accounting and consulting firm PwC Australia has revealed that male workers are paid 12.3 per cent more than females employees across the company.

That number widens to 16 per cent at the most senior levels of the business, PwC says, because there are a greater number of men in senior roles than women.

PwC published its gender pay gap information on Tuesday in a bid to increase transparency around its workforce diversity – claiming it as an Australian first for companies revealing the salary divide at senior levels.

The breakdown of the 7,500-strong workforce showed men are paid 12.3 per cent more on average than women, while among the 649 partners, the higher number of male senior partners widens the gap to 16 per cent.

However the study found that male and female partners performing similar roles are paid almost the same and the gender pay gap for like-for-like roles throughout the firm is 0.3 per cent.

Chief executive Luke Sayers said PwC was determined to close the gap by increasing the number of female senior partners.

“People have rightly been calling for professional services firms to disclose their partnership pay gap and we are proud to be the first Australian firm to do so today,” Mr Sayers said.

“Transparency around diversity is one of the key ways we can address the challenges we face and hold ourselves accountable to real change.”

PwC’s 12.3 per cent gap company-wide is below Australia’s 16 per cent gender pay gap figure and the global gap of 24 per cent, according to figures from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Head of the School of Management at the University of NSW Business School, Professor Karin Sanders, praised PwC’s move and said the firm had set a good precedent to push other companies to do the same.

“I think it is really important and relevant to be as transparent as possible because that shows that you are aware of it and it shows that you have goodwill to work on it,” Professor Sanders told AAP.

“By doing so, they signal that they care about lower salaries for females.”

PwC said its gender target – which aims for 40 per cent of new partners to be female, 40 per cent to be male and 20 per cent to be either female or male – has helped boost the number of female partners from 17 per cent to 24 per cent over three years.


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