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Five years of Workplace Gender Equality Agency data

Workplace Gender Equality Agency



Workplace Gender Equality

Gender diversity Workplace Gender Equality Women in the workplace

Five years of Workplace Gender Equality Agency data

Five years of Workplace Gender Equality Agency data

The Five Years of Workplace Gender Equality Agency data fact sheet provides a detailed picture of the state of gender equality in Australia’s workplaces. The booklet is compiled by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, an Australian Government statutory agency charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces.

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency works collaboratively with employers providing advice, practical tools and education to help them improve their gender performance. The agency also works with employers to help them comply with the reporting requirements that encourage measures that improve gender equality outcomes. The Agency uses the reporting data to develop educational Competitor Analysis Benchmark Reports based on six gender equality indicators.  After five years, the data has now provided a detailed understanding about what policies and practices are making a difference.


  • There has been a strong increase in employer action on gender equality. As employers have taken action, gender equality outcomes have improved and the gender pay gap has declined., thought progress remains slow. Women working full-time still earn on average over $25,500 a year less than men in total remuneration. Pay gaps persist across every industry, manager category and non-manager occupation. More employer action is required if the gap is to close at a faster rate.
  • Almost three-quarters of employers (74.3%) now have an overall gender equality strategy and/or policy (up from 66.2% in 2013-14). There were strong increases of over 13pp in all but two of the categories. Although the number of employers with KPIs for managers relating to gender equality rose by 13.3pp to 31.4%, it still lags behind the other indicators.
  • There has been solid growth in the number of women moving into management roles and increased employer commitment to promoting flexible work. Key management personnel (KMP) has seen the biggest growth of any manager category (up 4.4pp from 26.1% in 2013-14 to 30.5% in 2017-18). More than 70% of employers now have a policy and/or strategy for flexible working – an increase of 13.2pp from 57.5% in 2013-14.
  • The data also shows an enduring lack of gender balance on boards and at the CEO level. Gender segregation remains deeply entrenched across Australian industries, occupations and workplaces and access to parental leave is not improving. There was only a 1.4pp increase in the number of female CEOs (up to 17.1% in 2017-18). Women’s representation on boards only made marginal gains. There was a 2.7pp increase in female board members (up to 28.1%) and number of female chairs barely shifted (up 1.7pp to 13.7% in 2017-18).


  • Increases in employer action on gender equality
  • The downward trend of the gender pay gap
  • Growth in gender equality policies and strategies
  • Increased action on pay equity
  • Access to parental leave is not improving
  • Increased employer commitment to flexible work
  • Greater representation of women in leadership
  • Industry segregation – the glass walls persist
  • Small improvements in occupational segregation
  • Women still hitting the glass ceiling at CEO and board level
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