A big analysis into the gender pay gap has revealed that women are still earning less than men at all ages. But not only does the expanse widen when women turn 35, it continues to get worse over the following 20 years. We’re talking about a $40,000 per year gap — which is pretty fucking bleak.

Per the Sydney Morning Herald, the new data comes from a report published by the Federal Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency, which looked into age-related pay disparities in the private sector. It found that women never truly reach parity with their male counterparts in workplaces and it actually gets worse as people enter their 40s.

The report found that as women turn 35 they are earning around $7.78 for every $10 that men are earning. Between the ages of 45 and 65 women are earning approximately $40,000 a year less than their male peers. It also found that women working in top dog executive roles are earning nearly $100,000 less a year on average than men.

Unsurprisingly and upsettingly, the biggest drivers of this glaring pay gap are discrimination and women spending more time out of work to care for kids and their families. Is this 2022 or 1952? Good Lord.

Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s director Mary Woolridge told the SMH there are other factors at play as well. She said the workforce of low-paying jobs in things like care and education tend to be dominated by women. However, the agency found that only contributed to about 20 per cent of the pay gap.

She also said women tend to feel like they have no choice but to work part-time (which is a rarity in better-paying senior roles) because they don’t feel supported to work flexibly around things like childcare.

“In many instances, it’s not a genuine choice,” she said.

“They’re constrained because an organisation may not be prepared for them to work part-time and return to the workforce, or they may not be able to access childcare and can’t exercise the choice to return to work.

“What we’re saying is in order to be able to utilise the talents of women, we need to provide as much support as possible for them to return to work flexibly … and to genuinely think about part-time roles in senior management.”

The report has stressed that employers need to offer flexible work options and create part-time management roles to retain people of all backgrounds and ages.

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