Carrie Bickmore has railed against the gender pay gap on The Project, which sits at nearly $1 billion in total in Australia.
“It’s an age old problem made worse by the pandemic,” Bickmore began. “So what are the solutions? How do we balance the scales?”
Bickmore – who is paid an estimated $1.5 million, around $600,000 more than co-host Waleed Aly – went on to interview Director of the Equality Institute Dr Emma Fulu.
Dr Fulu said the pay gap came down to a number of factors, including the high price of childcare and sexual discrimination in the workplace.
She also argued that Australia has “historically undervalued women’s work”, explaining how women-dominated fields are generally less profitable for bottom line workers.
“We need to acknowledge that we still don’t have free good-quality early childhood education and work on the superannuation gap is only just beginning,” Dr Fulu said.
“What we see from this report is the drivers of the gender pay gap are primarily around discrimination.
“We also need to address that we have some low-paid industries that are dominated by female workforces. Why is it that we value that work less?
“I would argue part of that is because historically we’ve undervalued women’s work.”
Bickmore said there was “clearly a long road ahead” before the country can achieve true pay parity.
Australian census data released in February revealed women earn on average $226 less than men in the public sector — and $307 less in the private sector each week.
Bickmore returned to hosting duties on The Project on Monday night, following a three-month family holiday in the UK and Europe.