Gender pay gaps revealed: Australian media companies discriminate in wage gaps ‘as large as 26%’

Network Ten, Seven West Media and Nine are among the Australian media companies who revealed their gender pay gaps today.

For the first time, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has released figures on the gender pay gap for private sector employees (with a workforce of 100 or more employees).

The data has revealed that there are pay gaps as large as 26% in some of Australia’s major media companies, and a gap of anywhere between 13% and 18% for most of the big multinational advertising holding groups.

The following chart comes from an analysis by TrinityP3, a Global Marketing Management company, of the submissions of more than 30 media and advertising employers, including Nine, Channel Seven, Foxtel, and Paramount ANZ.

According to the survey, several Australian media companies have made significant strides in addressing their gender pay gap in recent years, with some even managing to eliminate it altogether.

OOh!media stands out with its various gender equity initiatives, which include measures to reduce bias and personalized development plans tailored for female employees. Remarkably, the out-of-home (OOH) media organization reports a gender pay gap of ‘ minus 2.2%.’

On the other hand, News Corp Australia exhibits a 9.4% gender pay gap across both metrics.

Despite having an equal gender split at the chair level, Network Ten’s board is predominantly composed of men (67%). The network reports a median total remuneration gender pay gap of 5.5%, with a median base salary gender pay gap of 7.5%.

Seven West Media presents a median total remuneration gender pay gap of 13.8%, which surpasses its median base salary gender pay gap of 10.8%. Similarly, Nine reports a median base salary gender pay gap of 13.4%, outweighing its median total remuneration gender pay gap of 10.1%.

WGEA’s figures show that the national gender pay gap across all industries was 21.7% with a number of high profile media and advertising players finding themselves above this figure.  

‘Today’s release of the employer gender pay data is an important moment in understanding the ongoing disparity of pay for women in the workforce. The data shines a real light of transparency on the pay gap,’ said Lydia Feely, General Manager at TrinityP3 Global Marketing Management. 

‘This gap isn’t surprising when you look at both the senior management level and boards of major media and advertising companies, in particular in key roles like Key Management Personnel, Heads of Business or General Managers. The dominance of men in these roles remains startling,’ said Feely. ‘The reality is there is still a significant disparity. It has improved in recent decades but without a strong focus from the senior ranks the gap won’t close any further.

‘This is about having tangible policies to support both men and women when it comes to things like parental leave, flexible working but also workplaces looking at their pay policies, value contribution and ensuring they aren’t systematically paying men more than women for the same level of work.’

In general, companies that had clear policies on the gender pay gap and who undertook regular payroll analysis performed better when it came to the gender pay gaps they reported to WGEA.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports