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Gender pay gap transparency: How would Australia's tech titans fare?

Gender pay gap transparency: How would Australia's tech titans fare?

Labor calling for all large companies to publicly release gender pay gap data


Oracle’s gender pay data is also poor and on a par with AWS. Women make up only 16.1 per cent of the highest paid quartile of workers, rising to 35 per cent of the lowest paid workers.

In the UK the company has a median hourly rate for women which is 17.8 per cent lower than for men.

Women’s median bonus pay is 46.7 per cent lower than men’s. Around 10 per cent more men than women receive bonuses at the company.

The company said most of its higher paid jobs were filled by STEM graduates, and blamed its lower female representation as “typical of the historic gender mix of these” professions and graduate programmes.

“Oracle is further committed to attracting more women into its business and into higher levels within the organisation, ensuring women stay in the company and enjoy successful careers,” said Oracle’s UK HR chief Cathy Temple.

Dimension Data

The proportion of women in every pay quartile is – relatively – large at Dimension Data in the UK. Women make up 30 per cent of the highest paid workers, 42 per cent of the upper middle quartile and 30 per cent of the lowest paid quartile.

However, despite the positive proportions, women have a median hourly rate a shocking 50 per cent lower than men’s.

“Whilst the data… isn’t as positive as we would like it to be, we can confidently say that our future statistics will be considerably more positive,” said the company’s UK people and culture director Steve Warner.

The company employs around 2,840 staff in Australia, meaning it would have to report its local gender pay gap, if Labor’s proposal is realised.

The rest

Among the worst proportion of women in the upper pay quartiles is found within the UK division of VMWare, where only 9.2 per cent of the highest paid workers are women. The median hourly rate for female employees there is 34.1 per cent lower than men’s.

At BMC Software, women’s median hourly rate is 37.4 per cent lower than men’s. Women make up only 3 per cent of the highest paid workers there.

At EMC Computer Systems, women made up 9 per cent of the highest paid quartile. Women in the company had a median hourly rate 31.7 per cent less than their male counterparts.

Its parent company Dell fared slightly better, with a 16.9 per cent disparity between the sexes in median hourly pay. Women made up 19 per cent of the highest paid positions there.

Transparency talks

As the competition between the tech titans for talent heightens, companies are being pushed into becoming more transparent about the diversity of their workforce. A low gender pay gap has become a point of difference.

Enterprise software company Atlassian, for example, doesn’t have enough staff in the UK to report their gender statistics but have released certain figures regardless.

According to the company’s second diversity report, women make up 27 per cent of the workforce overall. Split by department, women make up two thirds of finance and HR functions but only 15 per cent of software.

“We want to share our journey over the past year, which includes both our successes and where we've come up short,” the company said.

CA Technologies publishes select diversity figures too. Company-wide nearly a third of employees are women at last count, although only 18 per cent of tech roles are filled by women, and 24 per cent of the leadership (among them ANZ managing director, Janice Cox).

“Workforce diversity is a hot topic in the IT industry, and few companies have come forward to disclose their workforce mix in a transparent manner,” the company said.

Whether Labor’s proposal is ever realised is yet to be seen – Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested today that mandatory disclosure would “create tensions and anger and anxiety in the workplace”.

Regardless, those companies that want to attract and retain the best talent (and make bigger profits) would be wise to be more open with their diversity and gender data, even if it isn’t all positive.

As Atlassian puts it: “We want to be as open as possible. This isn't about achieving a single set of objectives in a single year, but about raising the bar a bit higher every day, every quarter, every year, and every decade.”

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Tags MicrosoftGoogleDellemcsalarydimension dataCoalitionbmcatlassianLaborCA TechnologieswagesTanya PlibersekgenderequityequalityScott Morrisonliberalspay gapKelly O’Dwyer

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