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More women tradies will close gender pay gap: Goward
04/07/2012 - The gender pay gap will close only if more women work in manual trades, NSW Minister for Women Pru Goward says.
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The Women in NSW 2012 report showed men earned on average 14 per cent more than women, translating into an extra $200 a week.
While the gender pay chasm had narrowed from 18 per cent since 1995, the report found that in late 2011 women earned an average of $1212 a week compared with $1404 for men.
Launching the report, Goward said the male domination of highly paid manual trade jobs was to blame for the continuing gender gap in NSW.
"You will not change that gap whilst you don't have women in those trades," she told reporters on Tuesday.
"A lot of that gender pay gap is explained by the very narrow range of occupations that women have."
The report also found that women in NSW held just 10 per cent of construction jobs and one per cent of apprenticeships in the building sector.
Addressing the Sydney Institute, Goward said many employers and family members held negative stereotypes about women working in manual roles.
"Young women are more likely to choose a construction apprenticeship if a traditional trade becomes part of their everyday consciousness," she said.
Goward said closing the pay gap at a senior corporate level would do little to improve wage equality.
"Yes, we can do better at women on boards, yes we can do better with women as CEOs of companies, but those numbers are minuscule," she said.
Goward, a former ABC radio and television journalist and federal sex discrimination commissioner, said women with children needed a stable man to succeed in a demanding career.
"My advice always is choose your mate wisely because wherever possible, families do best when there are two parents and they can share those responsibilities between them," she said.
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