A positive step towards closing the gender pay gap


Last week the Federal Government introduced the Workplace Gender Equality Amendment (Closing the Gender Pay Gap) Bill, and among the amendments includes a requirement for the publishing of wage data for employers of 100 people or more.


This development, set to come into effect in 2024, is so important as it will help contribute to greater transparency and accountability for companies and drive action at a national level. This will be crucial in closing the gender pay gap – which is holding our economy back by $51.8 billion a year, and financially disempowering women who experience a gender gap of $898 million per week in lost earnings.

HESTA supported this change in our 2021 submission to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act. HESTA's CEO, Debby Blakey, is a WGEA Pay Equity Ambassador and HESTA has been a WGEA Employer of Choice for seven consecutive years.

Around 80 per cent of HESTA members are women working in health and community services, with many often working in part-time or casual roles and who are lower paid. The national gender pay gap for the Health Care and Social Assistance Sector is 22.2%1, significantly higher than the national average despite a predominantly female workforce. The compounded effects of this gender pay gap ultimately leave many HESTA members with less money in their super.

While this development is a welcome one, we know there is still much to be done when it comes ensuring fair and equal treatment for women in the workplace. It’s not just the effects of a lifetime gender pay gap that leave women with less money in their super. Paying super on the Commonwealth Parental Leave Pay scheme and better targeting tax concessions could significantly improve the retirement balances of critical health and community services professionals.

Not only is workplace equity important for women’s financial outcomes – there are real performance and economic benefits to be captured. It’s widely accepted that transparency and reporting can lead to greater accountability and action – this belief sits behind our investor led 40:40 Vision.





Through 40:40 Vision, HESTA, along with investors with over $6 trillion in assets under management are urging ASX300 companies to commit to improving gender balance within their executive leadership teams by 2030. We want business-oriented structural transformation, measured through targets, to progress gender balance across the ASX. 

By working to achieve this 2030 goal, we believe this can help improve the long-term value of our investments and deliver greater investment returns for members. 

Learn more about the 40:40 Vision.



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