Businesswomen living in Australia not only have trouble getting promoted to top-level jobs, but once they get there, they’re grossly underpaid in comparison to men at the same level. According to an article on Forbes.com this week, Australian women hold just 7% of the senior executive jobs in the country’s top 200 public companies. Most of those women earn half as much as their male colleagues in the same positions.
Specifically, women in chief financial officer and chief operating officer positions in the top 200 Australian companies earn half the salary of men in the same jobs while female chief executive officers earn two-thirds the salary of men in the same position.
The statistics come from a survey by Macquarie University that was commissioned by the Australian government, and those statistics mirror separate 2007 Australian government statistics that showed women earned 35% less than men each week. Despite the fact that the government asked for the survey, they claim they will not intervene to close the gap between the salaries of men and women in business.
Interestingly, research by Catalyst in 2006 showed that women hold just 6.7% of senior executive jobs in the United States and 5.4% in Canada, so this problem is certainly not unique to Australia.