It will take over 100 years to achieve gender financial equality after the pandemic had a negative impact on the gender pay gap and hours worked for women.
According to the Financy Women’s Index, the pace of progress was slower in the June quarter than in March and rose by 0.9% compared to 1.06%.
The number of monthly hours worked by women fell by 2.3%, almost five times that of men, while the gender pay gap widened to 14.2% from 13.4%.
The pandemic had been a cause of concern as many industries which were dominated by female employees such as retail and accommodation had been adversely hit by the lockdowns. They were also more likely to have been the parent who take time out of the workforce to home-school children.
“While the long-term trend for women’s economic progress is still one of improvement, as we continue to combat the pandemic, women remain particularly vulnerable to lockdowns and the disruptions from public health and social distancing orders,” Financy chief executive, Bianca Hartge-Hazelman, said.
“The concern is that the longer the pandemic continues, unpaid work seems to rise and the harder it is for many women to participate in the workforce to their full potential.”
The trend was identified as a ‘she-cession’ or ‘pink collar recession’ by Deloitte who highlighted women had been disproportionately affectced.
“Interestingly, this release of the Financy Women’s Index shows a big improvement in the gender underemployment gap,” Deloitte Access Economics partner, Simone Cheung, said.
“But digging a little deeper, there were less women in part-time work who preferred more hours. This means women are not only impacted by economic cycles, but they are also more likely to willingly opt out of the workforce or reduce work hours due to non-economic reasons.”