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MYOB reveals gender wage gap in SMEs across Australia and NZ
Thu, 22nd Sep 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Business Management Platform MYOB has revealed the gender wage gap among employees of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is sitting at 7.5% in favour of men, when comparing median hourly wages, and that women faced disproportionate challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, 26% of small businesses owners reported that during the pandemic increased caring responsibilities impacted more of their female employees than male. 15% said women were more likely to be unable to work at their usual capacity, more than double the impact on men (6.4%). They were also twice as likely to face reduced job security, at 13% compared to 7%.

The analysis of MYOBs anonymised data, representing more than a million SME employees, and accompanying survey of 1,000 SME owners and operators, was released this week in MYOB Success Report: SME Wages.

Helen Lea, Chief Employee Experience Officer at MYOB, says, "The gender pay gap is a widely established concern across all sectors, with the WGEA calculating the gap, in terms of average earnings, to be 14.1% in favour of men. On top of established and systemic challenges, the pandemic exacerbated many social and economic drivers that contribute to unequal outcomes for women. These were particularly apparent in the industries most impacted by COVID restrictions, such as hospitality and retail. Despite the gender pay gap, there is some cause for optimism."

The survey results show flexible working practices, accelerated by the pandemic, benefited 11% of women, compared to 5% of men. 11% of respondents also reported the pandemic led to more increased wages for women, compared to 6% for men, and increased opportunities for 11% of women, compared to 6% for men.

Increasing wages overall is also a priority for 84% of SMEs, and more than half (51%) have increased wages in the last 12 months.

Lea says, "Australia's small and medium sized businesses are looking to return to a normal operating rhythm; however conditions remain difficult with labour shortages and cost of living putting significant pressure on businesses and employees alike.

"Despite the challenges, these findings indicate the commitment of SMEs the country's largest employer to deliver wage growth to the 7.6 million Australians they employ.

"By bringing awareness to the gender pay gap, and providing ways to action discrepancies, we hope to assist the sector to deliver more equitable outcomes for Australians."

MYOB is a business platform with a founding purpose of helping more businesses in Australia and New Zealand start, survive and succeed. To do this MYOB delivers end-to-end business, financial and accounting solutions direct to businesses employing between 0 and 1000 employees, alongside a network of accountants, bookkeepers and consultants.