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Addressing gender pay disparities in engineering

In this article, Melinda Laundon from the Australian Cobotics Centre discusses gender pay disparities in engineering, focusing on Australia’s manufacturing sector. Despite employing over 46,000 qualified engineers, manufacturing has a 70% male workforce. The sector’s gender imbalance is a critical issue, as highlighted in a parliamentary inquiry that called for a national strategy to attract and retain under-represented groups, including women, in advanced manufacturing careers. Currently, only 14% of engineers in Australia are women, and the gender pay gap remains significant, with women earning on average 78 cents for every dollar earned by men, even when considering base salaries alone.

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has published gender pay gaps for private sector employers with 100 or more staff members, offering valuable data on gender equity performance. Laundon emphasises the importance of initiatives such as gender pay audits, increasing pay transparency, promoting women to leadership roles, and removing gender bias from recruitment and promotion processes to address pay disparities. Encouraging men to take flexible work and parental leave can also help improve the gender pay gap. The Australian Cobotics Centre’s Human-Robot Workforce Program, which includes researchers experienced in gender equity, is available to assist companies in evaluating and enhancing gender equity within their organisations.

Addressing gender pay disparities in engineering

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