The gender pay gap has narrowed for younger women but the risk remains it will widen as their careers progress and during their child-rearing years, according to the latest AMP.NATSEM income and wealth report. The She works hard for the money study found while baby boomer women suffered a 13% gap, it dropped to 3.5% for Gen Xers and just 0.6% for Gen Yers. AMP financial services managing director Craig Meller said Gen Y was “the first generation where the wages of women are almost on par with men”. But, “the risk remains” as they progress “they will still face the same dilemmas and glass ceilings as their Baby Boomer mothers”. Women still possess only 37% of total Australian income, the report found. Men have the potential to earn $2.4m over a lifetime, with women’s potential earning power averaging almost $1m less. A man with a bachelor degree or higher and children will earn around $3.3m over his working life compared with a comparable woman’s $1.8m earning capacity.
More than one out of five women who had children reported facing at least one difficulty at work when pregnant, the report found. Some 22% reported some negative aspect, such as “missing out on training and development opportunities” and “receiving inappropriate or negative comments”.