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Graduate gender pay gap coupled with Tony Abbott’s HECS interest entrench financial gender inequality

Media Release
Larissa Waters 18 Jun 2014

Graduate Careers Australia data out today shows female graduates are being paid on average 9.4 per cent less than male graduates, compounding the gender bias of Tony Abbott’s planned interest hike on university loans.

“Not only are women being paid less when they finish uni, but women who take time off work to have a baby face paying 30 per cent more in interest on their university loans than men, under Tony Abbott’s uni cuts,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens spokesperson for women, said.

“The Greens will be blocking Tony Abbott’s changes to HECS debt repayments to ensure that students and particularly women are not saddled with increasing debt to further their education.

“It’s incredibly concerning that even when female graduates are working in the same fields as male graduates, they are still paid about 4.4 per cent less.

“Much of the rest of the graduate gender pay gap can be attributed to male-dominated industries being more highly paid, even though female-dominated industries, such as the community sector, are just as important to our society.

“Female graduates are facing this financial inequity even before many experience the workplace discrimination that comes with pregnancy and returning to work afterward, which the Australian Human Rights Commission is currently investigating.

“Alarmingly, Australia’s overall gender pay gap has sat at about 17 per cent for years now and that’s why it’s so important that our government requires companies to provide information on how many women they employ and how they are paid compared to men.

“With comprehensive data on the gender pay gap, we can take positive steps toward tackling this shameful inequity,” Senator Waters said.

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