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Burnet Institute taking steps to close gender pay gap

  • 20 Feb 2024

Burnet Institute is committed to gender equity, diversity and inclusion, and to closing the gender pay gap.  

With more than 60 per cent of our Australian-based staff identifying as women, gender equity is a crucial issue for our organisation and something we aspire to achieve. 

Our commitment to gender equality is reflected in the annual reporting of gender equality data to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for the 2022-23 reporting period, from April 2022 to March 2023. This reporting tradition, established in 2012, is in accordance with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, as we strive for continuous improvement in gender equity. 

At Burnet, we acknowledge that gender is a social and cultural construct that assigns norms, behaviours, and responsibilities, based on an individual’s sex assigned at birth. Additionally, gender can also be considered an identity. Some individuals may have an innate sense of their gender that does not correspond to their assigned sex at birth. The data shown in the WGEA report only covers women and men. Historically, gender pay gap data has only been collected and reported in a binary way, recognising only women and men. 

The 2022-23 total remuneration gender pay gap in Australia was 21.7 per cent. 

Burnet’s 2022-23 median gender pay gap was 3.6 per for base salary, and 11.5 per cent for total remuneration. 

Base salary refers to an employee’s annual earnings before tax in full-time and full year equivalent amounts. Total remuneration includes base salary, superannuation, loadings and other allowances.   

The gender pay gap reflects the difference between the remuneration of women and men across the organisation. It does not represent differences in pay between women and men in the same roles. 

We recognise that gender equity is something employers need to improve. Transparency in reporting gender pay gaps is a crucial first step. Research on the impact of reporting gender pay gaps in the UK, where employer pay gaps have been published since 2017, shows it has motivated companies to discuss and prioritise gender equality and to take actions that have narrowed the pay gap between men and women. 

At Burnet, we recognise we have some way to go to close our gender pay gap and have developed several policies and initiatives to achieve this, including the creation of a dedicated Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (GEDI) Committee, chaired by Burnet Institute Deputy Director Professor Caroline Homer AO. 

Our GEDI Committee is helping drive initiatives across Burnet to address factors contributing to our gender pay gap.  

Burnet is committed to continuously evaluating our policies and processes to close the gender pay gap. Progress so far has included: 

  • Increasing the proportion of women in leadership roles from 41 per cent in 2019 to 55 per cent in 2023 

  • Increasing the proportion of women at executive level from 38 per cent in 2019 to 45 per cent in 2023 

  • Increasing superannuation contributions to cover the entire parental leave period (not just the paid portion) 

  • Removing the primary and secondary carer labels from our parental leave, so that either parent is entitled to 14 weeks of paid parental leave  

Read Burnet’s full Gender Pay Gap report on the WGEA website by searching for ‘The Macfarlane Burnet Institute’ under organisation results.