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The King's School, an all boys school in Sydney, has managed to reverse its gender pay gap in favour of women. Picture: NCA Newswire/Dan Himbrechts

Pay gaps better represent majority female workforce in a few schools

Although national education trends show women overall earn less than men in private schools, some have pay gaps in favour of women.

Recent data released by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for the first time shows how much private companies with over 100 employees pay their staff.

It revealed the 5000 companies average a 19 per cent gender pay gap - which means the median pay for a woman is $18,461 less than a man's salary.

Every industry in Australia has a median pay gap that favours men, and workplaces with higher paid roles are more likely to have bigger gaps.

The education and training industry's median total remuneration pay gap is 5.2 per cent, where women earn an average of $5,987 less than men.

Male staff at some private schools are being paid upwards of 20 per cent more than their female colleagues, data from South Australia shows.

Figures released by the WGEA on Tuesday included data from a number of private schools in South Australia.

The median pay gap for total remuneration at Blackfriars Priory School was 24.9 per cent in favour of men, and at Rostrevor College the gap was 22.4 per cent.

St John’s Grammar School had a pay gap of 20 per cent, Loreto College of 14.2 per cent, Prince Alfred College of 14 per cent and Seymour College of 13.6 per cent.

Some schools reported near-parity, such as Wilderness School with 0.5 per cent, while a small number of schools recorded pay gaps in favour of women.

However, Pulteney Grammar School reported a gap of 9.9 per cent, Pembroke School, 10.2 per cent, and Walford Anglican School for Girls, 12.4 per cent – all in favour of women.

Walford principal Dr Deborah Netolicky said the school’s gender pay gap data reflected its culture, values and purpose.

“As an organisation, we pride ourselves on attracting outstanding talent, providing excellent working conditions, and creating a culture of inclusivity,” she said.

“We firmly believe in ensuring that our staff receive fair remuneration that reflects the skills and responsibilities they undertake within the school, irrespective of their gender.

“Being an all-girls school, we are deeply committed to ensuring that girls and young women can be what they can see.”

Dr Netolicky said normalising female leadership at student, staff and governance levels “continues to be important to our school and embedded throughout everything we do”.

Some elite Sydney private schools have also managed to close or significantly reverse the gender pay gap.

A boys' school in North Parramatta, The King's School, has a gender pay gap of 28 per cent in favour of women, and Rosebank College in the inner-west skews 43.8 per cent in favour of women.

Melbourne school Mentone Grammar also has a pay gap of 53.8 per cent towards women.

School leaders have said employing highly competent and successful women, having flexible work-life balance policies and being in an all-girls school environment has allowed pay to favour their female workers.

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