Australia’s gender pay gap debate continues with women’s pay increases falling behind

24 August, 2023

  • New ADP® Research Institute research reveals that men reported a 5.7% increase in their pay last year, while women experienced a comparatively lower growth rate of 4.4%
  • Half (50%) of female workers reported dissatisfaction with their current salary
  • Older Australian workers expect to be overlooked when it comes to pay and bonuses this year

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – 24 August 2023, The gender pay gap continues in Australia, according to a new survey of over 1,400 Australian workers conducted by leading HR and Payroll solutions provider ADP. The ADP® Research Institute’s People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View, reveals that in Australia, women’s salary increases are failing to keep up with men’s – moreover, they anticipate a continuation of this trend in the year ahead.

According to the survey, Australian pay rises in the past 12 months averaged 5.7% for men, compared to only 4.4% for women. In the next 12 months, men expect to see their pay increase by an average of 6.3%, while women foresee an increase of just 5.2%.

Not surprisingly, women are more inclined than men to perceive themselves as being underpaid for their work, with 60% of women expressing this belief, in comparison to 56% of their male counterparts.

Kylie Baullo, Managing Director ANZ at ADP, comments: “Despite the ongoing discussions regarding the gender pay gap, this data demonstrates that the disparity continues.

“This is particularly worrisome given the current economic challenges Australian workers are facing across all industries. People are grappling with genuine financial difficulties including the in utility prices and interest rates, and it is disheartening that women are not being paid in a way that enables them to contribute equally to household expenses.

“With Equal Pay Day falling on 25 August it is an opportunity for employers to assess any existing inconsistencies and inequalities in employee pay. In doing so, employers can create a more equitable work environment, enhance staff morale and engagement, retain talent and ultimately drive organisational success.”

Older Australian workers also believe they’ll be overlooked by their employers when it comes to pay rise and bonus awards in the year ahead.

More than half (58%) of Australian Generation Zs (18-24-year-olds) expect to receive a pay rise in their current company in the next 12 months, compared to only 34% of those aged 55 and over. Similarly, 21% of Gen Z believe they’re in line for a bonus, compared to 16% of those approaching retirement age.

Mrs Baullo says, “Failing to recognise the value of experienced workers is likely to have long-term consequences. Overlooking these individuals may lead to the loss of vital knowledge and skills as they seek better pay and conditions elsewhere.”

People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View explores employees’ attitudes towards the current world of work and what they expect and hope for from the workplace of the future.


For more insights, please read the ‘People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View’ report.

About the research

ADP Research Institute® surveyed 32,612 workers in 17 countries around the world between 28 October and 18 November 2022 including over 8,613 working exclusively in the gig economy. This included:

  • 7,721 in Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India and Singapore)
  • 15,290 in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK)
  • 5,751 in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Chile)
  • 3,850 in North America (USA and Canada).

Within the worker sample gig workers and traditional workers were identified. Gig workers were identified as those who work on a contingent, temporary, or seasonal basis, or as a freelancer, independent contractor, consultant, gig worker, or use an online platform to source work. Traditional employees were identified as those who are not working in the gig economy and instead have a permanent full or part-time position.

The survey was conducted online in the local language. Overall results are weighted to represent the size of the working population for each country. Weightings are based on labour force data from the World Bank,[1] which is derived using data from the ILOSTAT database, the central statistics database of the International Labour Organization (ILO), as of February 8, 2022.


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[1] Source: The World Bank, Labor force, total, World Development Indicators database, February 8 2022