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Gender pay gap costing Aussie women $3 billion a week

The gender pay gap is slowly closing, but Aussie women are still $3 billion worse off each week.

Gender pay gap
Aussie women earn $1 million less than men over their working lives. (Source: Getty)

Aussie women earn $1 million less than men over their working lives and retire with $136,000 less in superannuation, a new report has found.

New research released by the Australia Institute on International Women’s Day found women would be $3 billion per week better off if the gender pay gap was eliminated.

The gender pay gap is currently 13.3 per cent, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data, based on full-time workers. It is forecast to close in 2053.

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Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work senior economist and report author Eliza Littleton said there was a huge disparity between men and women’s super balances, particularly considering the average balance was about $150,000.

“Australian women continue to be paid less than men on average across all industries and occupations, costing us more than $3 billion across the economy each week,” Littleton said.

“We know that older women are one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to poverty and homelessness in Australia.

“Australian women shouldn’t have to wait until the year 2053 for substantive equality.”

The report made a number of recommendations to the government, including increasing paid parental leave for both parents and paying super on the leave.

Changes to the paid parental leave scheme passed the Senate this week. The new laws give both single parents and couples access to 20 weeks of paid leave, with the government aiming to increase this to 26 weeks by 2026.

Super fund HESTA is also calling for superannuation to be paid on parental leave. In separate research released today, HESTA found working mums have missed out on more than $2.8 billion in super savings at retirement.

“Extending the Super Guarantee to workers taking paid leave to care for children is an important policy that will help create a fairer retirement system for all Australians and is a key step towards addressing the gender super gap,” HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said.

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