About the Data Explorer

This Data Explorer has been created using data from non-public sector organisations with 100 or more employees that reported to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) from the 2013-14 to 2015-16 reporting periods.

The dataset covers 4 million employees across Australia, approximately 40% of the total labour force (2015-16). The homepage of the explorer provides you with three options for exploring the data – gender equality overview, industry view and the comparison view.

1. Choosing the gender equality overview section will allow you to see how each industry is performing on a scatterplot that shows pay equity (on the Y axis) and gender composition (on the X axis). Each industry bubble is sized by the number of employees in that industry classification. Hover over a bubble to see the details of that industry. Alternatively, you can click on a bubble to "drill down” into that industry. You can also click and drag to zoom in to see closely grouped industries and you can choose different reporting periods. From this page, you can choose the “see more details” option or click on the name of an industry to find out more about the particular industry you are interested in.

2. The industries section of the explorer provides a detailed look into the gender outcomes of the particular industry you are viewing, or you can view all industries. The number of employees in the industry segment is displayed under the industry heading, and the number of organisations is also shown just below. The industry view also allows you to see the difference between this year and last year’s data findings.

3. To compare one industry with another, choose the comparison view option from the menu and select the two industries you would like to compare.

Can I compare my industry to other industries?

Yes! In the comparison view you will have the ability to choose two industries to compare. The information about your selected industries – employee and organisation numbers – can be seen at the top of the page and choosing a gender equality tab will allow you to compare the two industries item by item.

What is ANZSIC?

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) is a standard system for classifying industries based on primary business activity, and is based on a four-level hierarchical structure. It is used in the Explorer to enable users to ‘drill’ into industries. The hierarchy begins with 19 broad industry classifications denoted by a letter (Division). This is followed by three further classification levels, represented by a two-digit code (Subdivision), a three-digit code (Group) and a four-digit code (Class).

ANZSIC has been used to categorise organisations reporting to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. For instance, an organisation whose main activity is health insurance would be classified under the following classification:

  • Financial services (Industry Division F)

  • Insurance and superannuation funds (Industry sub-division 63)

  • Health and general insurance (Industry Group 632)

  • Health insurance (Industry Class 6321)

Visit the Australian Bureau of Statistics website for more information on ANZSIC.

Where can I find information about a specific organisation?

The Explorer does not provide information on individual organisations, it shows data for all organisations or by industry segments. If you would like to see information on a specific organisation, you can download public reports from the WGEA website. The public reports do not contain salary data.

What is the minimum number of organisations needed in an industry for an accurate analysis?

The Explorer will allow you to explore industries down to the ANZSIC Class level, however if there are fewer than five organisations in the category selected, data will not be displayed. This prevents comparisons being made on the basis of very small samples and maintains confidentiality around the gender pay gaps of individual organisations.

What does the data represent?

When interpreting the data it is important to remember that it represents only non-public sector employers with 100 or more employees. It excludes the public sector, small organisations and many medium sized organisations.

Please note, causal relationships cannot be investigated or inferred using this Data Explorer. The tool shows you only how different conditions vary when filters are applied to the data. It does not necessarily indicate cause-effect relationships, correlational associations, or predictive relationships.

How was the data collected?

The data was collected through a secure online portal. Employers uploaded a workplace profile (spreadsheet) and responded to a reporting questionnaire. A copy of the reporting questionnaire is available on the WGEA website.

Workforce composition

This tab available from the industries view presents information collected in the workplace profile. It displays the overall gender composition breakdown by manager or non-manager (by occupation) and employment status (full-time, part-time and casual). A casual employee is defined as an employee that works on an irregular and unsystematic basis, and has little or no expectation of the continuation of work or guaranteed income and has the ability to accept and reject work as they see fit.

What do the different manager categories mean?

The Explorer uses standardised definitions of each of the manager categories – as per the reference guide for reporting.

CEO (or equivalent)
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) (or equivalent, however named) is the highest ranking corporate officer (executive) or an administrator in charge of management of an organisation. The CEO (or equivalent) is reported on separately to other key management personnel. Examples of the CEO could (depending upon the nature of the organisation) also be the managing director, general manager, managing partner, principal or vice chancellor.
Key management personnel (KMP)
Have authority and responsibility for planning, directing and controlling the activities of the entity, directly or indirectly, including any director (whether executive or otherwise) of that entity, in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards Board AASB124.
The KMP is a manager who represents at least one of the major functions of the organisation and participates in organisation-wide decisions with the CEO.
Other executives/general managers
An 'other executive/general manager' holds primary responsibility for the equivalent of a department or a business unit. In a large organisation, this manager might not participate in organisation-wide decisions with the CEO.
Senior managers
'Senior managers' are charged with one or more defined function, department or outcome. They are more likely to be involved in a balance of strategic and operational aspects of management. Some decision making at this level would require approval from either of the two management levels above it.
'Senior managers' are responsible for resourcing, a budget and assets (capital expenditure).
Other managers
'Other managers' plan, organise, direct, control and coordinate an operational function. They usually oversee day to day operations, working within and enforcing defined company parameters.
An 'other manager' is accountable for a defined business outcome which usually involves the management of resources that also includes time management, coordination of different functions or people, financial resources, and other assets (for example facilities or IT infrastructure). Line managers would be included in this category.

What are the different occupational categories for non-managers?

For non-managers, the Data Explorer uses the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) with two additional categories for ‘other’ and for ‘graduates’. The 9 categories used are:

Perform analytical, conceptual and creative tasks through the application of theoretical knowledge and experience in the fields of the arts, media, business, design, engineering, the physical and life sciences, transport, education, health, information and communication technology, the law, social sciences and social welfare.
Technicians and trades employees
Perform a variety of skilled tasks, applying broad or in-depth technical, trade or industry specific knowledge, often in support of scientific, engineering, building and manufacturing activities.
Community and personal service employees
Assist health professionals in the provision of patient care, provide information and support on a range of social welfare matters, and provide other services in the areas of aged care and childcare, education support, hospitality, defence, policing and emergency services, security, travel and tourism, fitness, sports and personal services.
Clerical and administrative employees
Provide support to managers, professionals and organisations by organising, storing, manipulating and retrieving information.
Sales employees
Sell goods, services and property, and provide sales support in areas such as operating cash registers and displaying and demonstrating goods.
Machinery operators and drivers
Operate machines, plant, vehicles and other equipment to perform a range of agricultural, manufacturing and construction functions, move materials,
Perform a variety of routine and repetitive physical tasks using hand and power tools, and machines either as an individual or as part of a team assisting more skilled workers such as Trades Workers, and Machinery Operators and Drivers.
Employees whose work is not defined by above categories.
Any person employed/recruited by an employer as a graduate (for example a graduate lawyer, graduate accountant etcetera). This does not refer to employees who may have a degree but who are not employed specifically as a graduate.

The gender pay gaps tab

This tab shows the results for all employees with splits available for full-time, part-time and casual employees. A separate gender pay gap is shown for each manager category and each non-manager (occupation) category.

How are gender pay gaps displayed?

The grey section in the middle of each pay equity bar represents the gender pay gap expressed as a percentage of men's earnings. If you hover your cursor over the grey section, a pop-up will display the gender pay gap as a percentage of men's earnings. Where men earn more than women, the men's grey section of the bar will be completely full, and the gender pay gap will be a positive value. Where women earn more than men, the women's yellow section of the bar will be completely full, and the gender pay gap will be a negative value.

How are gender pay gaps calculated?

When organisations report to us, they provide a "snap-shot in time" of their workforce. The salary data is both annualised and converted to full-time equivalent. This means that if a person was employed for only part of the year, their salary data is presented as if they had worked full time for the full year. Employers provide data on base salaries (before tax) and on total remuneration (which includes base salary plus superannuation, bonus/performance pay, discretionary pay, overtime and other allowances).

The weighted average of the salaries of all men in the relevant category is calculated. The weighted average of all women in the relevant category is calculated. The result for women (which is usually lower than for men) is subtracted from the result for men, and expressed as a percentage: the gender pay gap.

The data visualisation currently only shows gender pay gaps for full-time employees.

Employer action on pay equity

This tab allows users to explore what actions employers are taking on pay equity (e.g. identifying causes of pay equity gaps, reporting pay equity metrics to the executive, etc.) Gender equality strategy & targets.

Gender equality strategy & targets

This tab allows users to explore the percentage of organisations that have a gender equality policy or strategy, and any targets set for the gender composition of governing bodies.

Flexible working

This tab displays information about flexible working policies and strategies that have been put in place by employers, as well as the types of flexible work offered (e.g. job-sharing, telecommuting, etc).

Support for carers and paid parental leave

This tab shows the proportion of employers that have a policy or a strategy aimed at supporting employees with family or caring responsibilities. It also shows the average length of primary and secondary career leave that is offered, and the type of payments offered. This tab also shows the types of non-leave based support that is offered (on-site childcare, breastfeeding facilities, etc.)

Family or domestic violence support

This tab illustrates the proportion of employers that have a family or domestic violence policy and/or strategy as well as other measures that can support employees experiencing domestic violence.

What does “no comparison data available” mean?

It means that this data was not collected in the previous year – so it is not possible to show whether there has been an increase or decrease.

What does “insufficient data available” mean?

This message displayed in an orange colour indicates that there are less than five organisations that submitted data in that particular category. When there are less than five submitting organisations the data is not displayed. We recommend that you ‘drill up’ to a higher level in the Data Explorer, or remove filters if you are seeing a lot of these messages.

Policy and strategy results

For results that are showing the percentage of organisation with a policy or a strategy in a specific area, this figure refers to a formal standalone policy or a formal standalone strategy only.

How to interpret the yearly changes

The Data Explorer includes data from the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 reporting periods. Each tab provides the option to view yearly changes between the two reporting periods. To measure the changes over time, the percentage point change (p.p.) calculation has been used to display the difference between the base year’s and the chosen year’s percentage.


This Data Explorer is presented by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency for the purpose of disseminating information for the benefit of the public. The Agency monitors the quality of the information available on this Data Explorer and updates the information regularly. However, the Agency does not guarantee, and accepts no legal liability whatsoever arising from or connected to, the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of any material contained on this website or on any linked site.

The Agency recommends that users exercise their own skill and care with respect to their use of this website and that users carefully evaluate the accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance of the material on the website for their purposes. Users should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency cannot accept any responsibility or liability for outcomes resulting from the use of this Data Explorer, either directly or indirectly.

Help or assistance

If you have difficulty viewing the information in this Data Explorer please ensure you are using recent standard web-browser software (e.g. Internet Explorer IE 8 or above, Chrome). Each of the graphs in the explorer has an associated screen-reader accessible table version of the graphic for persons with special access needs. For further assistance please contact us on wgea@wgea.gov.au.


This Data Explorer was created by Flink Labs (in 2014, 2015 & 2016).