What is the Gender Pay Gap?

The gender pay gap in the Victorian Public Service is currently 12%.

We think women should be paid the same as men. We think women should be offered the same opportunities as men. We think it’s time to close the gap.

There are a number of ways you can get active in your workplace to help close the gap, read about them here.

Not sure what the gap is or why it exists? Learn more.

Sign up to become a Gender Pay Equity Advocate!

As a CPSU Gender Pay Equity Advocate, you will play an active role in the campaign to help close the 12% gap.

This can include:

  • Attending a CPSU pay equity audit workshop (sessions will run throughout 2018)
  • Complete a gender pay audit of your workplace using our Gender Pay Audit Tool
  • Display Worth 100% posters at your workplace
  • Hand out CPSU flyers to female co-workers
  • Educate co-workers about flexible work/ right to request pay reviews
  • Liaise with CPSU with any concerns around pay discrepancies in the workplace
  • Use the hashtag #cpsuworth100 on any social media posts related to the campaign
  • Request CPSU to speak at your workplace about the campaign


What is Worth 100% about?

In February 2018 it was announced in the State of Public Sector Report that the gender pay gap in the Victorian Public Sector was 12 per cent in 2016/17.

This means that women earn on average $10,197 less than their male counterparts with a median base salary of $76,487 for females and $86,684 for males.

We want to help close that gap for our members. We believe that this can be achieved via a range of actions including educating members about their rights in relation to pay progression, requesting reclassification and flexible work; offering training around parental leave, return to work & flexibility for parents and carers; and advocating for clauses in the next VPS Agreement that will help close the gap.

Women's work and dedication to their role must be compensated the same as their male counterparts. Women are worth 100%.

What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is the difference between women's and men’s earnings, expressed as a percentage of men's earnings. It is a measure of women's overall position in the paid workforce and does not compare like roles. (Australia's Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2018).

It can be calculated in a number of ways and this sometimes leads to differences in the figures cited as "the gender pay gap".

As of February 2018, Australia's Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) calculated the national gender pay gap as 15.3%.

Causes of the gender pay gap

Whilst basic undervaluation of the work women do in any job is the starting point for pay inequity, this is compounded by a number of other factors. These include:

Discrimination and bias

Although women have made great strides in achieving greater gender equality, sex discrimination still limits opportunities for women. Discrimination in the workplace can include seeing women as 'less suitable' applicants than men; offering different rates of pay to women compared to men in comparable roles; and overlooking women for particular roles, professional development opportunities, and promotion.

Social norms can dictate that confident women are often seen as pushy and out of place, leading to discrimination where women discount their own skills, experience and suitability for roles or promotion. While often discrimination and bias are unintentional, they can have profound limitations on who is hired for a role, their experience of the workplace, and how they progress and develop over time.

Undervaluing female-dominated occupations

Long held prejudices about women and what they can and can't do have prevented objective assessments of women's work. The most obvious example happens where women's skills are viewed as 'natural attributes' rather than workplace skills. This particularly includes things like caring and nurturing skills and communication skills.

Women's concentration in part-time and insecure work

Women's concentration in part-time and insecure forms of employment in the public sector has significant implications for gender pay equity. Women’s part-time and contract based employment equates to limited opportunities for advancement and career development, lower levels of unionisation, and in the case of casual employment, fewer employment benefits.

Barriers to negotiating flexible work

Wider social gender inequality means that many working women carry a greater share of caring roles throughout their life. Time out of the workforce for responsibilities like maternity leave may also hinder progression and career development. Women often find it difficult to negotiate flexible working arrangements to achieve the level of employment that works for them. Men are also limited access to flexible work arrangements that enable them to contribute to caring roles, which has a compounding effect. The whole economy suffers when women are not supported to reach their full potential at work.