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Australian Gender Pay Gap Report Calls Out U.S. Companies

A new Australian government report on gender pay gaps hit the airwaves Tuesday, causing a flurry of articles regarding the companies highlighted in the report – many of them U.S. multinationals. 

The big picture: A 2023 Australian law required any firm with more than 100 employees (regardless of headquarter location) to disclose unadjusted median pay gaps for men and women. The government has now analyzed those disclosures and released them in an interactive online tool that allows viewers to look at results by individual company, industry or size. 

Go deeper: Local news media took immediate advantage of the tool to compare and criticize specific companies whose gender pay gaps exceeded the national average of 19%. In particular, criticism has focused on female-led firms or firms that cater to women, in many cases requiring a public response from highlighted firms.

  • The Data Explorer tool includes much more information on individual companies than just the pay gap, such as workforce composition, whether the company discloses pay gap policies and action to mitigate gaps, policies around flexible work, parental leave and domestic violence support, and board diversity. 

The takeaway: If you have operations in Australia, it’s worth looking up your company to review the data reported by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency and be prepared for potential questions from employees or other stakeholders.

Australia follows in the footsteps of the UK, Brazil  and Japan among other nations, and significantly, the stringent EU Pay Transparency Directive will be implemented in two years. These new requirements impose an unprecedented level of compliance and reputation risk on multinational employers.

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Authors: Ani Huang

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