NSW unions are challenging government, business and community groups to come together for a special summit focusing on women’s super and the gender pay gap.

It follows an ANZ report today that women on average earn $700,000 less than men in their lifetime.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon said while there is nothing new in the report it again shines a light on the gross inequities facing women in the workplace and retirement.

“Unions are committed to developing initiatives to deal with the gap in wages between men and women.

“The reality is women earn around 20 percent less than men, are more likely to have career breaks or work part-time and they live longer, creating huge retirement inequality between genders,” Mr Lennon said.

On average, men retire with $197,000 in super, whereas women retire with just $105,000.

“Until we achieve equal pay for women, shared caring responsibilities with men and an end to workplace discrimination, we need concrete measures to help women boost their retirement savings so they can have a properly funded retirement.”

To combat this Unions NSW last year boosted female employees’ superannuation by two percent, an initiative embraced by the broader union movement at the recent ACTU Congress. This move has paved the way for unions to push for extra super for women through the enterprise bargaining process.

“While we are not implying all employers are consciously paying men more than women there is an unconscious bias that is resulting in this massive gap in pay and it is impacting on all corners of society. 

 “We need a tripartite approach to come up with some concrete ways to reduce the gender pay gap, eliminate workplace discrimination and even up the huge disparity in retirement savings between men and women.”

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