Today is Equal Pay Day - marking the 65 extra days from the start of the financial year on 1 July that women must work to earn the same as men.

Using the latest Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) calculates the national gender pay gap to be 17.9 per cent, a difference of $284.20 in earnings per week.

The national gender pay gap is a symbol of the overall position of women in the workforce, reflecting a range of complex, interrelated factors including pay differences between male and female-dominated industries, a lack of women in senior positions, women’s unpaid caring responsibilities as well as discrimination.

It does not show ‘like-for-like’ pay gaps, that is pay rates for employees working in the same or comparable roles.

The WGEA has put out a fact sheet - Gender Pay Gap Statistics - containing the latest figures regarding pay gaps.

The national gender pay gap is calculated using the traditional methodology of the difference between women’s and men’s wages, expressed as a percentage of men’s wages (and using ABS AWE data).

“There are many ways to measure gender pay gaps but however you measure it, there is a significant pay gap in favour of men,” said Ms McSorley.

“Bias can creep in to hiring, promotion and pay decisions unintentionally and so analysing pay data and taking corrective action is essential.

“We’re also seeing more employers investigate and take responsibility for closing their organisation-wide pay gap as they look to dismantle the barriers that inhibit the ability for women to take on the bigger, higher paying roles.

“We urge all employers to use the tools available to analyse and address the pay gaps that may exist in their own workplaces.”

Seventy-seven employers have so far signed up to WGEA’s Pay Equity Ambassador program.