Plibersek, who is also the Shadow Minister for Women, said that industries with a largely female workforce, like early education and childcare, have considerably lower pay than those with gender parity.
“We need to do more to encourage boys to work in education and care sectors. We need to do more to encourage girls to enter non-traditional trades and professions, including in STEM jobs,” she said.
Plibersek also discussed the recent history of the gender pay gap, highlighting a spike that she attributes to the mining boom.
“The standard measure of the gender pay gap is currently at a record low of 14.6 per cent. But, fourteen years ago the gender pay gap also broke below the 15 per cent mark,” she said.
“From what was then a record low, it climbed steadily on the back of the mining boom to almost 19 per cent. As the mining boom has eased off, so has the pay gap.
“The underlying causes of the gender pay gap are complex and interconnected but there are things that we can do to address them.”