Longer working hours to blame for gender pay gap?

Australian researcher says men work longer hours than women

The number of hours worked in a week plays a big role in the wage disparity between men and women, according to new research out of Australia.

What Jobs Pay 2004-05 argues that women get lower pay because they tend to work shorter hours. The book was written by Rodney Stinson, a Sydney-based workplace researcher, and it draws on the census and recent labour force data.

The research found specialist medical practitioners were at the top of the country’s pay scale, earning average weekly pre-tax salaries of $1,851 AUS ($1,708 Cdn).

Other top wage earners included pharmacists, dentists and engineering managers.

At the other end of the scale, mixed crop and livestock farmers earned average weekly pre-tax salaries of $402 AUS ($371 Cdn). Hairdressers and fast-food workers were also at the bottom of the income pile.

When it came to the number of hours worked, farm labourers had among the longest days, with 77 per cent working at least 49 hours per week. Campground managers and hotel managers also put in long workweeks.

Jobs with traditionally high female workforces, such as library assistants and switchboard operators, tended to work shorter weeks of 35 to 40 hours.

“It is a fact that males, on average, have longer working hours in full-time jobs that do females across the occupational spectrum,” Stinson told the Sunday Mail. “Of the 20 occupations with the longest hours, 18 are overwhelmingly male and the other two (lawyers and education managers) have a reasonable and growing number of females.”

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