More than 120 Australian leaders of big business, sporting organisations, universities and government agencies have made a personal commitment to addressing the gender pay gap with a new focus on jobs for which the pay scales tip in favour of men.
The 122 business leaders that form the Male Champions of Change coalition have signed a new agreement to ensure equal pay for equal work in like-for-like roles within their organisations and not just across sectors.
The signatories include Qantas chief Alan Joyce, Telstra chief Andrew Penn, Lendlease chief Steve McCann, Goldman Sachs chief Simon Rothery???, Unilever Australia/New Zealand chairman and CEO Clive Stiff, CBA managing director Ian Narev, Deloitte Australia CEO Cindy Hook, Football Australia CEO David Gallop, ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott, Australian Stock Exchange CEO Dominic Stevens, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin, Army chief Angus Campbell, Ten Network CEO Paul Anderson, Fujitsu CEO Mike Foster, Johnson and Johnson managing director Gavin Fox-Smith and CSIRO chief Larry Marshall.
Vice-chancellors from La Trobe University, the University of Sydney and Australian National University are also among signatories.
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency's measure of the average gender pay gap is at 15.3 per cent, reflecting the overall position of women in the workforce.
However, it does not measure differences between men and women in like-for-like roles, which the Champions of Change coalition have now agreed to do. This means companies are not required to measure differences in pay between like-for-like roles. They are only required to compare male and female pay rates within an organisation as a whole.
"They are not looking at two engineers sitting side by side, one's a boy and one's a girl and they are paid differently," Ernst and Young partner Rohan Connors said.
"We are giving our organisations a free pass to excuse gender inequality and so we wanted to come up with a better way of doing it."
Mr Connors, who compiled the Champions of Change strategy, said organisation leaders have now committed to measuring differences in pay between men and women doing the same jobs.
The report recommends strategies for reducing like-for-like pay gaps, addressing the timing and frequency of gender pay gap reviews and performance reviews and other processes.
Libby Lyons, director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, said addressing the national gender pay gap "requires the effort of our whole community".
"Employers must step up and play their part," she said.
"All leaders have the power to analyse their data and take action on pay gaps within their organisations."
The signatories to the Closing the Gender Pay Gap report have invited other Australian leaders to join them.
Lendlease managing director Steve McCann, a signatory to the report, said there was no excuse for men to be paid more than women for work that has "the same accountability, breadth and difficulty, and for which they have comparable performance, competence and experience".
"We've learned that gender-based pay gaps can be both common and insidious - particularly in historically male-dominated sectors," he said.
"Having regular, scrutinised and actioned reporting is a game-changer - real-time access to relevant data becomes hard to ignore and demands action."
Elizabeth Broderick, the founder and chair of Male Champions of Change, said employment leaders could help accelerate greater gender equality.
"This is a joint and concerted effort to help make unjustifiable pay differences in like-for-like roles for men and women a matter of history in Australia," she said.