ANZ to increase pay to women following gender report

Sydney, July 29 (IANS) Australian banking giant ANZ will increase its pay to women with low private pension fund savings balances in an effort to close a gap in retirement savings between genders.

The move comes after ANZ published a report on Wednesday which shows full-time working women will earn on average 700,000 Australian dollars ($513,161) less throughout their lifetime then men, over a typical 45-year career, reported Xinhua.

Women are also more likely to retire in poverty, earning 15,000 Australian dollars ($10,997) a year less then men, the ANZ Women’s Report: Barriers to Achieving Gender Equity said.

They are also more likely to end their careers with, on average, around half as much superannuation as men and be 15 percent more likely to experience poverty in retirement, the report said.

The gap is largely due to women being paid less for the same work as a man, often revering to part-time jobs to assume child rearing or family responsibilities at some point in their life.

ANZ said on Wednesday it will pay an extra 500 Australian dollars ($367) a year to female employees with less than 50,000 Australian dollars ($36,656) in their superannuation funds, with contributions on parental leave also to be paid by the bank for up to 24 months.

ANZ chief executive Mike Smith told local media the bank was committed to pay any gender equality for women, including equal representation for women in senior leadership roles.

“Promoting diversity and gender equality is a priority in our business,” Smith said.

“Much more still needs to be done though to achieve full gender equality in the workplace and while we recognize we’re not there yet, today’s announcement is about rethinking how we address the imbalances women face in the workplace and in retirement.”

The report acknowledges more men are taking up the role of primary care-giver at home, however penalties, including missed promotion opportunities, are harsher for women which contributes to Australia’s shortfall of women in senior positions.

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