Women who work in hospitality and tourism are paid less than their male counterparts.
Women who work in hospitality and tourism are paid less than their male counterparts. MaxPixel

Study reveals tourism industry pay gap

WOMEN might dominate the job numbers in tourism-related industries, but they are paid almost 10 per cent less than male colleagues, a university study has found.

The study, led by Southern Cross University Associate Professor Michael Kortt, looked at data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey to come up with its findings.

"The principal findings suggest that female tourism employees earn 8.5 per cent less, and hospitality employees earn 7.5 per cent less than their male counterparts," said Prof Kortt, from the School of Business and Tourism.

He said the report had factored in women leaving the workforce early to have children and males having more work experience, and still found female tourism employees earned 8.5 per cent leass than male counterparts.

"Even after controlling for these factors, our results indicate that female employees still incur a wage penalty. It appears that women may face discrimination in the tourism and hospitality labour market," he said.

Professor Kortt called for efforts to be devoted to eliminating any remaining gender pay disparity.

"Work in the policy space needs to ensure there are no discriminatory hiring practices, and employees are provided with flexible work arrangements and opportunities for career development and advancement," he said.

Prof Kortt said his study contributed to the literature by providing the first results for Australia, where the tourism and hospitality sector makes a substantial contribution to gross domestic product (GDP).

He said the next step would be to see whether wage discrimination existed for specific roles in the sector.

"I saw the results of studies in Europe and the USA and wondered if the results would be similar here," he said.

"It turns out they are."