Women working more, earning less: Australia report

Wed Apr 1, 2009 4:32am EDT
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By Pauline Askin

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - The workplace is still largely a man's world, with an Australian report showing working women are likely to earn in a lifetime nearly half the amount that men do, even though they have the same qualifications.

The report, by financial services firm AMP, shows that while the pay divide has narrowed over the past 20 years in Australia, large income gaps between men and women still exist.

"As women take time out to have children and come back into the workplace they just never recover their careers to the pace that men have," AMP Managing Director Craig Meller told Reuters.

Women outnumber men in professional occupations, making up over half the workforce but possess only 37 percent of total Australian income, the report said.

It showed that a man who holds at least a bachelor's degree and has children will earn over his working life around twice what a woman in the same circumstances would make -- A$3.3 million compared to A$1.8 million.

Currently, a 25-year-old man who would work over the next 40 years would also make one-and-a-half times more than the prospective earnings of a woman of the same age, the report said.

Despite working more, women are still doing the majority of child rearing and housework.

The report said mothers who work full-time spend on average 78 hours a week working in the office and at home, out of which 15 hours are spent on cooking and cleaning. Men with children, however, work 74 hours, out of which only 6 hours a week are spent on housework.   Continued...