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Page Executive Summary 1. Introduction 1.1 Significance of the report 1.2 Source of information 1.3 Scope of the report Bases for Gender 2.1 Pay Inequity 2 3 3 3 3 3 3



Barriers to womens career development 3.1 Glass Ceiling 3.2 Women in Trades 3.3 Stereotyping 3.4 Women and the corporate culture Corporate Strategies to Achieve Pay Equity 4.1 Skill-based Pay System 4.2 Salaried Workforce 4.3 Performance-based Pay System 4.4 Managing a Diverse Workforce Conclusions

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List of References Appendices Appendix 1 Employment ratio of female with employed partners Appendix 2 Proportion of employed person working full-time

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Executive Summary:
Pay equity is equal payment of adult males and adult females doing the same class of work or work of equal value ( The report will explore whether pay equity is a dominant factor in conflicting issues within gender and class interest, and compare and contrast whether these dynamics influence the outcome. In order to determine concept of pay inequity, the report identifies factors that have acted as barriers to womens career development, as well as providing a detailed analysis of how organisations can contribute to the achievement of pay equity. It would appear from my empirical research that even though an increasingly number of women have been entering the male dominated work force since world war 2 that there roles within society have been stereotyped and this has been transferred to the labour market. A womens role as care provider has been extended to nurturing roles within the labour market to teaching, nursing and domestic chores. These employment positions are lowly in both status and pay. On preliminary analysis, organisations can contribute to the solution of pay equity through directly linking performance-based pays to skills, knowledge and abilities of an individual rather than gender. This would give women more representation at senior management level, ensuring a transparent career path towards career progression. This has been discussed in detail in the report.

1. Introduction:
1.1 Significance of the Report The purpose of the report was to explore the concept of pay equity, identifying bases of inequity and how they have developed. The report also includes how organisations can contribute to the achievement of pay equity. 1.2 The Sources of Information The sources of information came from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, reputable websites and academic references. 1.3 Scope of the Report A limitation of the report was there was little empirical research in the career development of both male and female executives, and little study in the experiences of women who have advanced to senior management positions and in particular CEO of an organisation. In trying to understand why there is only two female CEOs within Australia the report identifies the main barriers of preventing womens career advancements.

2. Bases for Gender

2.1 Pay Inequity
Differences which are based on income, wealth, property, political power and influence or professional status are termed stratification, which implied that one group is placed higher than the other (Ryan, Parker & Hutchings 1993, p:58). This type of inequity is based on the opportunities which are available to one gender over another as a result of either their perceived or actual status within society. Another type of inequity is the way society treats men over women. Womens roles in society are sexually divided through women having the ability to have children, and men being the provider. This social barrier is significant to women not being able to achieve equitable career advancement. Critics suggest that traditional family roles reinforce an artificial distinction between the public role of men in paid work, and the private role of women as carers and supporters of men and children (Ryan, Parker & Hutchings 1993, p:153). These roles are transferred to the workplace where womens positions are paid at lower rates and lower status.

In pre-industrial society women looked after the family and the home. The home was the centre of family life. Most homes were making there own goods and trading them within their own local communities. In contrast, men were working outside ploughing fields and hunting. In the pre-industrial society wealth divided the community. The wealthy women had slaves to help them in and outside of the home. Men were often hard task masters, sexually abusing women. In the post-industrial society cottage industries exacerbated gender differences through women and their families being taken advantage of by rich male factory owners. Terrible working conditions undermined the wellbeing of women. In the late 1900s cultural traditions prevented women from working outside of the home. Majority of the women were in some kind of paid domestic work. In the twentieth century, rising cost of living and financial stress have shifted the social trends towards dual income, this is evident in appendix 1 where 63% of females have dependent children. Pay equity and industrial relations have been intertwined into the Australian history. The current pay equity regulation has been the result of the Australian Government intervention. However employment relationship has been mediated through the industrial tribunals established as the centre of the arbitration system ( This direct relationship has changed

over the last decade due to the legislation of human rights such as the Sex Discrimination Act 1974, and also because of the new reliance on Constitutional legislative powers by the Commonwealth government such as the Corporations and External Affairs powers ( The Equal Pay Act was legislated in 1975 to coincide with the Sexual Discrimination Act. The Equal Pay Act was amended in 1983 to enable employees to claim equal pay on the grounds of comparable worth. The main objective of the Act is to eliminate the pay discrimination between men and women. This change has been the result of globalisation and competitiveness within the Australian economy, and even though direct intervention by the Australian Government has legislated pay equity, current policies on pay equity are still influenced by public commissions. The arbitration system has played a large part in shaping the history of pay equity. The Commonwealth Conciliation & Arbitration Act was enacted in 1904 and the first consideration of female wages was in the Fruitpickers Case in 1912 and the female basic wage was fixed at 54% of the male wage by Higgins J in the Clothing Trades Case in 1919 (

Employers and the trade unions must determine the worth of a position from comparable industries. A firm will look at other firms within the same industry and see what the market value is for a particular position. In contrast trade unions look at rates and the public sector tends to look at the private sector for comparisons, especially in terms of occupational groups (Cole 2002, p:250). The public sector seeks advice and recommendations from review bodies to determine pay equity. According to the Bureau of Statistics women in 2007, on average, earned just 65 per cent of what men earned, meaning a pay gap of 35 percentage points( Such obvious inequality can be contributed to men having longer experience within the work force. Women have always been the home maker and men have been the bread winners. Unions have been dominated by males and do therefore not understand of the gender discrimination issues women are faced with. Therefore, women have had to seek advice and help through other means. Furthermore, unions have come under increasing scrutiny regarding restrictions on civil liberties, treatment of women, corruption, political influence and their contribution to economic performance(Stone 1998, p:538). Womens roles in the workforce relies on the improved child-care facilities, availability of part-time work, job security after an absence for child bearing, maternity leave and special parental leave (Stone 1998, p:50). Australias labour market has a strong part-time and casual workforce. According to the bureau of statistics in Appendix 1 63% of women with dependents are in either part-time or casual positions as contrast to 32% of men. Still shouldering the bulk of the housework and primary responsibility for child-care in most families, many women prefer to work part-time (Stone 1998, p: 51). A higher percentage of women are in industries such as retail, hospitality, and child-care. These industries rely on part-time and casual workers to give their organisations more flexibility to be abele to reduce their costing in low periods. This cost cutting strategy enables organisations to be more competitive.

3. Barriers to Womens Career Development:

The issue of our time, says one feminist, is that women have gone through an extraordinary metamorphosis over the past three decades and what is staggering is to the degree men havent changed (Stone 1998, p:192). One of the major barriers within the labour market is that women are not adept at working across different fields such as truck driving, managers and board directors.

3.1 Glass Ceiling

This is a phenomenon where women try to get promoted from middle management to upper management and an invisible barrier occurs to prevent this from happening. It is argued that this is a product of male sexism ingrained corporate thinking and womens self doubt (Stone 1998, p:192). Other phenomenons that prevent women from career advancement is the lack of child-care facilities, raising a family without financial supporters, and lack of education. Thus this is a contributing factor to women gaining casual and part-time employment in lower-paid and less sort after jobs.

3.2 Women in Trades

During World War 2 women had to work in the industrial sector to replace the men that went to war. Women had to weld, assemble and operate machines. Despite this and recent equal employment opportunities and AA drivers, only a small percentage of women entered apprenticeships and other non-tradition occupations. This is because they often faced a hostile environment and lack of support (Stone 1998, p:192). harassment and the male dominated environment. Women have been discouraged in seeking careers in workshops and manual labour due to sexual and verbal

3.3 Stereotyping
Many women have chosen careers where succession planning for career advancement is lacking. These staff positions often provide rewarding careers for both men and women, but they are seldom visible in the sense of preparing an individual for rapid advancement (Robbins et al 2003, p:669). Women are seen in gender specific roles that remove them from succession planning; usually they are moved laterally to become experts in support roles while men are usually moved upwards towards general management roles.

3.4 Women and the Corporate Culture

With the pressure for organisations to be more flexible coupled with global competition, organisations must head hunt the best and the brightest people. Quite often jobs are advertised within industries; consequently women are not well represented in the networking environment. The company has what was referred to as a "model applicant," a stereotyped perception of the ideal candidate. If an applicant fits this model and the perceived comfort level of the group, the person is hired and the group reproduces itself. Often candidates are found when employees call their colleagues at other companies (Forney 1988, p: 19).

4. Corporate Strategies to Achieve Pay Equity

4.1 Skill-based Pay System
Equitable pay must be transparent to ensure that there is no gender difference is pay structure. Men and women should be paid the same if doing the same work, and are in the same industry. To ensure this occurs organisations can design pay structures to reflect individual employees skills, knowledge and abilities. By focusing on the individual, rather than the job, skill-based pay system reward learning and growth(Waddell, Cummings & Worley 2000, p:349). The benefits of skill-based pay system is directly increasing productivity levels within an organisation, gives employees a higher skill level and enables employees crossfunctional opportunities. Skill-based pay can lead to durable employee satisfaction by reinforcing individual development and by producing an equitable wage rate (Waddell, Cummings & Worley 2000, p: 349). The disadvantages of implementing skill-based pay system is employees can become an expert in there field and eventually leave to advance there careers elsewhere, some organisations have resolved this by offering employees a profit-share of the organisation. The second disadvantage is an increase in costs associated with training.

4.2 Salaried Workforce:

An increasing number of companies, such as IBM, Gillette and Dow Chemical, are adopting all-salaried pay systems that treat managers and workers the same in terms of pay administration (Waddell, Cummings & Worley 2000, p:352). Employees are on a salary base rather than a fixed wage system. The objective of giving employees a salary is allowing employees more flexibility with there hours rather than rigid start and finish times. This is a huge advantage for women who have dependents and benefits the organisations by improving organisational productivity levels.

4.3 Performance-based Pay System:

A performance-based pay system is directly linking job performance to pay. They are used in such organisations as Monsanto, DuPont and American Express (Waddell, Cummings & Worley 2000, p: 353). The performance measure can be profit sharing, wage incentives, bonus system and piece rates. From a motivation perspective, making some or all of a workers pay conditional on a performance measure focuses his or her attention and effort towards that measure, then reinforces the continuation of the effort with a reward (Robbins et al 2003, p:467). Performance-based pay system is a benefit in equitable pay theory, women can compare there own inputs and outputs with there male counterparts. This internal motivation will drive women in their own quest for career advancement.

4.4 Managing a Diverse Workforce:

The opportunity to learn, convenient work hours and good interpersonal relations are more important to women than men (Robbins et al 2003, p: 465). All employees have different priorities and goals that there job seeks to satisfy. In appendix 2 54.1% of females are in fulltime jobs in contrast to 85% of men. A diverse range of strategies and motivational theories are need to mange a diverse workforce. strategies, organisations can implement. A compressed workweek: Giving employees the opportunity to work longer hours per day and resulting in a shorter week. Flexi-time: This is popular within the public sector. Gives employees the opportunity to vary start and finish times and lunch breaks as long as they work specified hours in a week. The following are work-family life balance

Job sharing: Gives employees the opportunity to share their position with another employee in splitting the work week between them. Telecommuting: Employees are able to work from home while communicating with there work place via the internet, fax and telephone.

In equity theory, individuals compare their jobs inputs-outcomes ratio with those of relevant others. If they perceive they are being under-rewarded, their work motivation declines, or they may even resign. When individuals perceive they are being over-rewarded, they are often motivated to work harder in order to justify their pay (Robbins et al 2003, p: 477). Organisations can also approach gender differences through understanding and identifying issues surrounding womens barrier of career advancement. The following strategies can also contribute to the achievement of pay equity Provide coaching and mentoring programs for women Provide succession planning for women Ensure women have the opportunity for career advancement through making a conscious effort of including them in the short list for senior roles.

5. Conclusion:
This report has presented the concept of pay inequity and the problems associated with it and how organisations can contribute to the achievement of pay equity. Since World War 2 women have increasingly entered the male dominated work force but there pay rates are still quite different. For organisations to contribute to the achievement of pay equity my research suggests that performance-based pay and skill-based pay systems be implemented to link performances directly to skills, knowledge and abilities rather than gender. This transparency of rewarding employees will also contribute to closing future gender pay gaps. The low proportion of female senior management in Australia can also be contributed to 63% of women with dependents are in either part-time or casual positions as in contrast to 32% of men. This negative correlation could be related to gender pay and worked hours. Critiques suggest that women are more adept at doing household chores as their role as carer requires it and therefore these skills are transferred into the labour market. Domestic jobs give women more flexibility and work life balances and this is evident in their labour demands within the market. Unfortunately domestic positions are low in pay and status.

Womens roles in society have shifted during the 19 th century with equal rights and voting. Womens roles in both the family and within the marital unit were influenced by society. Women saw there position within society as a reflection of there marriage. This is not a bad thing, but the source of the problem is that this status also stereotyped women in particular roles within the labour market which has attributed to their pay differences compared to there male counterparts.


List of References:
Cole, G. 2002, Personnel and Human Resource Management, 5th edn, Continuum, London.
Guidelines for Citing References and Electronic Sources of Information (n.d.) [Online], Available:, [Accessed 10 April 2008]. Guidelines for Citing References and Electronic Sources of Information (n.d.) [Online], Available:, [Accessed 15 April 2008]. Guidelines for Citing References and Electronic Sources of Information (n.d.) [Online], Available:, [Accessed 12 April 2008].

Robbins, S.P., Bergman, R., Stagg, I. & Coulter, M. 2003, Management, 3rd edn, Prentice Hall, Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.
Robert C. Forney, cited in E. I. dupont de Nemours and Company (hereafter, DuPont), Diversity: A Source of Strength, Wilmington, DE: DuPont, 1988.

Ryan, N., Parker, R. & Hutchings, K. 1999, Government Business and Society, Prentice Hall, Sydney. Stone, R. 1998, Human Resource Management, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Queensland. Waddell, D.M., Cummings, T.G. & Worley, C.G. 2000, Organisation Development & Change, Nelson Thomson Learning, South Melbourne, Victoria.


Female's age group (years) 15-24 25-44 % % 45-64 % Total % 50 26 76 27 36 63

No dependent children present Full-time 65 71 36 Part-time 19 18 31 Total 83 89 67 Dependent children present Full-time 9 25 37 Part-time 24 37 36 Total 33 62 73 Source: Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families, Australia (ABS cat. no. 6224.0); ABS Labour Force Surveys, July 1999 to June 2000.


1985 Males % Females % Males % 1995 Females % 2005 MalesFemales % % 22.5 60.8 65.2 52.0 56.7 49.8 30.9 54.1

Age 1519 years 76.0 62.8 51.7 28.3 44.8 2024 years 93.3 83.5 84.6 70.6 76.1 2534 years 96.5 63.2 94.0 64.1 91.3 3544 years 97.2 53.7 94.4 54.3 92.5 4554 years 96.6 57.1 94.6 59.3 92.1 5564 years 92.3 56.0 85.9 49.7 84.8 65 years and over 61.4 37.0 58.3 35.1 54.3 Total 15 years 93.8 62.9 89.0 57.4 85.5 and over Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed Electronic Delivery, quarterly (ABS cat. no. 6291.0.55.003)