Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sex Discrimination Commissioner: Companies Must Reveal Gender Pay Gap

This story is not about the United States. You can tell that by the odd terms like "Sex Discrimination Commissioner" and "Minister for the Status of Women."

It's about Australia, one of those odd countries that has actual governmental departments and commissioners devoted solely to the attainment of equality for women. Otherworldly, I know.

So now the Australian government is being pressured to force companies to reveal, annually, the actual amount of the company's gender pay gap. Companies would be required to reveal the amount of female vs. male paychecks. Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick says they already do that in the UK.

We can't do that here in America. Being honest about discrimination would lead to paying women equal wages. Paying women equal wages would inconvenience our discriminating corporate good-old boys.

The Federal Government is being pressured to force companies to reveal how their pay rates for men and women compare. The Equal Pay Alliance, comprising more than 130 business and community groups, has sent an open letter to Tanya Plibersek, the Minister for the Status of Women, demanding mandatory audits of pay rates. The Australian Council of Trade Unions is among the letter's signatories and its president, Sharan Burrow, says Australia has a culture of discrimination which undervalues women's work.