Revealed: 5 sectors with worst gender pay gap

There is still an industry that pays women just half for doing the same job as a man. And it’s pretty close to home.

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The Australian industries with the biggest gender pay gaps have been revealed, and it’s not pretty for investment market participants.

Analysis firm IBISWorld’s study released Thursday showed that, across all industries and jobs, full-time female workers in Australia earned 13.4% less than male colleagues in the same positions.

“A driving factor of the gender pay gap is unequal representation of women in leadership positions and inflexible working arrangements that do not accommodate for the responsibility of unpaid caring and domestic work,” said IBISWorld senior industry analyst Victoria Baikie.

The gaps in the 5 worst performing sectors are damning, with 3 of the sectors involved in investment markets.

Financial brokerage came ‘first’ with a 48.9% pay discrepancy, and the money market dealer industry was the third-worst with 41.3%.

Aviation, which has companies like Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) and Air New Zealand Limited (ASX: AIZ) on the ASX, rounded out the worst 5 with a 38.2% wage gap.

The other two sectors with massive gaps were sport and recreation clubs (47.6%) and real estate services (39.8%).

Why do these sectors pay women so poorly?

The gender gap in the finance industry was caused by a lack of female representation in higher positions. The study found that last year, just 18% of managers were women.

While the industry is trying hard to address the gap, this critical element is yet to be resolved.

“Strategies to address the gap have become more common, such as gender parity graduate programs that support women’s entry. However, a higher proportion of males were promoted to more senior roles than women in 2020, hindering improvement in the gender pay gap.”

But Baikie had hope that this problem would be rectified. 

“Firms within the financial asset broking services subdivision are increasingly likely to focus on the retention and promotion of women into leadership positions — especially CEO positions — in order to address the gender pay gap.”

As for the money market, the domination of the big four banks in Australia seems to be a significant hurdle.

“None of the 4 largest banks has equal gender representation in their executive leadership team and on their board of directors,” said Baikie.

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) does have a female chief executive and equal gender split on its board, but it only represents 5% of the sector revenue.

In aviation, the massive disparity in wages among pilots is letting down the entire industry.

Just 9% of pilots in Australia are female, earning $942.30 less than men per week.

The upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic would only exacerbate the situation, according to IBISWorld.

“Airlines will likely bring back their most senior pilots first as flight numbers increase, limiting opportunities for newly trained female pilots,” said Baikie.

“The gender pay gap for the air transport subdivision will likely get worse before it gets better.”

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Tony Yoo owns shares of Macquarie Group Limited and Qantas. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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