Pay equity still a puzzle to be solved

Associate professors Susan McGrath-Champ (University of Sydney) and Therese Jefferson (Curtin University) co-authored an article for The Economic and Labour Relations Review examining the “resilience” of the gender pay gap by looking at the policies of one professional services firm with the pseudonym “Proserve”.

Proserve has the seemingly right policies and has even won awards for its gender equity efforts but still, it has a “gendered pattern of pay” that sees men earn more than women.

Gender and pay equity in a global knowledge organisation looks at three main themes:

  • What gendered patterns of pay look like in such a firm
  • What insights can be gained by looking at the processes of a firm about the challenges of achieving gender pay parity in the professional services sector
  • What role WGEA practices and policies play

At the conclusion, the authors find that an employer can be pro-active and even keen for change but still have persistent gender pay gaps.

Reasons include vertical and sectional “occupational segregation” and different patterns of career progression internally plus little guidance from the WGEA externally on how to critically examine these factors.