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Publications archive - Ecologically Sustainable Development

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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Are We Sustaining Australia? Report Against Headline Sustainabilty Indicators

Environment Australia, 2002
ISBN 0 642 54771 8


Value 13: Gender and Economic Equity

Rationale for inclusion of issue

Historically, women have been disadvantaged in terms of workforce participation and earnings. Enhancing intra-generational equity should include redressing this inequity.

Indicator 15

Adult female full time (ordinary time) average weekly earnings as a proportion of adult male full time (ordinary time) average weekly earnings at February 2001 (seasonally adjusted)

84.85%

Source: ABS Cat No 6302.0 Average Weekly Earnings

Rationale for selection of indicator

An increase in average weekly earnings (AWE) of female employees as a proportion of average weekly earnings for males would be indicative of increasing economic gender equity, and could be indicative of increasing overall gender equity. In an equitable situation, average weekly earnings of female employees would be the same as average weekly earnings for male employees.

Full time ordinary time AWE has been selected because it minimises the impact of choice (eg working part time, or working overtime) on the indicator and reflects both the impact of different pay scales for "men's" and "women's" work and the impact of different levels of earnings attainment where men and women are in the same occupation (ie should either of these factors change for the better, the resulting headline figure should also change for the better).

To give the full picture of women's economic well-being relative to men's economic well-being, this indicator should be read in conjunction with women's workforce participation rates.

Explanatory and elaborative information

The headline indicator of 84.85% is based on the seasonally adjusted figure at February 2001, and shows that, in comparable situations, women are still generally earning considerably less than men. Comparable figures on seasonally adjusted AWE in 1999 and 2000 show very little change during this period.

The following table provides time series data which is not seasonally adjusted (indicating lower earnings for both males and females) as this allows use of a longer time series. It shows that AWE for full-time (ordinary time) adult female employees has remained at 83-84% of AWE for adult full-time (ordinary time) male employees for the last six years. AWE for all female employees as a proportion of AWE for all employees has also remained about the same, varying between 65% and 67%.

AWE for Female and All Employees: Time Series Data

 

May 1995

May 1996

May 1997

May 1998

May 1999

May 2000

Full time (OT) adult male employees

687.80

715.80

740.70

773.20

798.40

832.80

Full time (OT) adult female employees

575.50

594.10

620.30

646.90

669.60

697.90

Full time (OT) adult all employees

647.30

672.60

696.60

726.90

750.80

782.60

Full time (OT) adult female employees AWE as a percentage of full time (OT) adult male employees AWE

83.67

82.99

83.74

83.67

83.87

83.80

All male employees

652.70

671.10

687.10

714.50

733.00

757.70

All female employees

429.90

441.10

457.40

468.30

483.00

504.80

All employees

548.10

564.40

577.80

596.20

611.10

634.70

All employees female AWE as a percentage of all employees male AWE

65.87

65.73

66.57

65.54

65.89

66.62

AWE ($) by year

AWE ($) by year

Source: ABS Cat No 6302.0 Average Weekly Earnings

Supplementary indicators