Date posted: 01/06/2021 5 min read

Acuity Jun-Jul 2021 issue is out now

Accounting has an embarrassing gender pay gap – up to 37% in Australia and 51% in NZ. How do we fix it? Find out in Acuity’s latest issue.

In Brief

  • Jun-Jul 2021 Acuity has a special report on findings from the 2021 CA ANZ Remuneration Report.
  • The cover story looks at what chartered accountants can do as business leaders to fix the persistent gender pay gap in the accounting sector.
  • Other features include how to write a winning resume, a guide to document management software, e-signatures and the law, and more.

The results of CA ANZ’s 2021 Remuneration Report are in and something is obvious: we need to talk about the gender pay gap and how to fix it.

The report reveals that male chartered accountants in Australia earn, on average, A$50,000 a year more than their female counterparts. In New Zealand, it’s about NZ$60,000.

In percentages, that’s a pay gap of up to 37% in Australia and close to a jaw-dropping 51% in New Zealand.

But when we asked CA ANZ members if they thought a gender pay gap exists, 70% of female CAs surveyed said “yes” and 70% of male CAs said “no”.

It seems not just that “men are from Mars and women are from Venus” but that male and female CAs exist in different universes.

The reasons for the gender pay gap have been obvious for a long time. Women are more likely to take career breaks or work part-time to care for children. That means they may be overlooked for promotion to better paid, more senior roles. They may also self-select out of applying for a senior position because they do not fulfil 100% of the criteria, something that men are less likely to do.

So, how do we fix the gender pay gap?

How to fix the gender pay gap

In this issue of Acuity, we unpack the numbers in “Mind the gap”, our overview of the 2021 Remuneration Report. (In good news, CAs reported increased earnings during 2020 in Australia and New Zealand.)

Respected author and commentator Catherine Fox also goes through “5 reasons why there’s a gender pay gap (and what to do about it)” which include unconscious gender stereotyping and lack of transparency about pay.

In “We need to talk about the gender pay gap”, senior chartered accountants share their insights on eight things business leaders can do to make wages truly equal.

CA ANZ board members Ming Long AM FCA, Rob McDonald FCA and chair John Palermo FCA are joined by CA ANZ vice-president Kate Boorer FCA, PwC managing partner Sue Horlin FCA, Craveable Brands CEO Karen Bozic CA and Xero’s head of accounting Sue Pak FCA.

Among their suggestions are adopting a mindset that focuses on outputs rather than hours worked; making flexible work the norm for everyone; and tapping talent on the shoulder for promotions. Another option is how “Job sharing can help keep women in senior roles”.

All say that leaders have to be committed to making change but acknowledge that it won’t be a quick fix.

As Long observes: “Our complacency has allowed a gender pay gap that continues to entrench women in economic dependency. As chartered accountants we should know better.

“Our complacency has allowed a gender pay gap that continues to entrench women in economic dependency. As chartered accountants we should know better.”
Ming Long AM FCA

“We now have an opportunity as difference makers to change the trajectory of our legacy; a legacy that results in women’s economic freedom – the same economic freedom as men.”

Also in the Jun-Jul 2021 issue

More great reading in this issue includes:

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