Summary of CEDA Women in Leadership Series

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The developed world has made strides in promoting gender equality, yet pay disparities persist. Libby Lyons of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia argues that closing the pay gap isn’t simply a matter of demanding equal pay for equal work but of addressing gender imbalances in the workforce. Though based on Australian data, her recommendations for closing the pay gap are applicable throughout the developed world.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the gender pay gap persists and
  • Why occupational sector desegregation is crucial to promoting true gender equality.

About the Speaker

Libby Lyons is the director of the Australian government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency. 



In 2016, Australia’s gender pay gap was 23%. Men earned more in every economic sector, even those that are female-dominated. Although gender-based pay discrimination is neither legal under Australian law nor accepted by society at large, the gender pay gap persists largely due to three factors:

  1. Bias and discrimination – Prejudice against female workers is the most significant reason for pay inequality. The best way to fight unconscious bias is to raise awareness. Employers who recognize their biases are better able to correct them.
  2. Industry segregation...

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