The survey of over 2,400 Sydney-based accountants, conducted by Richard Lloyd Accounting Recruitment, showed that the gender pay gap had increased from 16.78 per cent in 2017 to 23.38 per cent in 2018.
“We broke the roles that we surveyed down into three separate levels; support, mid-level/junior management, and senior,” said Richard Lloyd co-founder Geoff Balmer.
“For two out of these three levels, we found that the gender pay gap had widened.
“In mid-level roles, women’s salaries stayed static while men saw an increase of $4,000, causing the salary gap to increase to 18.28 per cent, up from 13.98 per cent last year.”
While salaries at the support level were on par, this was the only role level where women outnumbered men.
“Nearly 70 per cent of support level respondents were women, which had an impact on pay parity at that level,” said Mr Balmer.
“However, the senior level was almost a mirror image of this, with 70 per cent of respondents being men. Even though men and women appeared to be motivated by the same things and had the same priorities at work, we still saw a significant gap.
“At a certain point, it becomes clear that representation isn’t the only issue here.”
Further, the survey also found that one in eight respondents felt discriminated against at work over the past 12 months, with reasons including race, being female, and age.
“On average, those who felt discriminated against felt 19 per cent less satisfied and valued at work, as well as earning $10,000 less than the median salary at their role level,” said Mr Balmer.
“This is not something that anybody in the industry should want to see continue and employers need to take action, or risk being left behind, and losing key employees.”
The results of the survey follow ATO data from the 2013-14 year which revealed ongoing pay gaps between female and male accounting professionals.
For example, women who fell into the accountant and chartered accountant category had an average taxable income of $71,552. Men in the same category, however, had an average taxable income of $105,107.
Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
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Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.