Saturday, July 28, 2012
A data round-up by the Bureau of Statistics offers a diverse picture of the differences between men and women. Overall, it seems you're still better off to be a man: men get paid more, but work less, when all the unpaid work is taken into account. Women are making up ground, but the pace of change is very uneven.
Take the broadest measure of income: hourly wages. In 2006, the median male in a non-managerial job earned 9 per cent more per hour than the median female. By 2010, the gap had shrunk to 8 per cent. At that rate, it will close in about 2040.
Or take an elite level measure: key executive managers in Top 200 companies. In 2002, 8.4 per cent of them were women; in 2010, 8.0 per cent were women. Almost half of the Top 200 have entirely male executives. Only six of them have a woman as the CEO, and 92 per cent of their directors are also male.
The public sector, by contrast, is changing rapidly. In nine years, the number of women in the Commonwealth's senior executive ranks have more than doubled. Women now make up 38 per cent of senior executives, 46 per cent of all lower level managers, and 31 per cent of judges and magistrates.
The basic social divisions remain. Men work twice as long as women in paid employment; women work twice as long as men in unpaid employment at home. One astonishing detail: of elderly parents with disabilities being cared for at home, 92 per cent have a daughter as primary carer, only 8 per cent are cared for by their sons.
Women are doing better than men in other areas. On average, they live four or five years longer than men, although the gap is closing. Young women are better educated than young men, and that gap is widening. And despite widespread perceptions, men are the main victims of crime (as well as the main perpetrators).
The bureau finds women are more likely to say they feel pressed for time, and are suffering from a high level of psychological stress. Yet they are less likely to suffer mental disorders than men and less likely to be disabled.
The crime stats show men are twice as likely to be victims of violence, and 50 per cent more likely to be robbed. But most victims of harassment are female, as are 85 per cent of all victims of sexual assault.