The outcomes of work and how they are shared are a topic of public discussion. Mainly it is about the positive outcomes. A difference in remuneration between men and women has been observed. The gender pay gap it is sometimes called. I expect there are many conversations that have been pursued and could be further pursued about that topic, reasons for it to be explored and responses considered.
The post though is not about taking up the discussion about the gap between the genders from the positive outcomes of work.
The post is about extending this conversation into a space that seems comparatively devoid of conversation. The post is about extending the conversation to the imbalance in the negative outcome of work. Or perhaps wondering why there is no conversation.
A negative outcome of work is the OHS outcome. The most serious are fatalities. That divide is very stark. The safety gender gap is not 10%, 20%, 30% or even 100%.
The safety gender gap is 2,000%. Men are thereabouts 20 times more likely to die at work.*
The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 has the following among its objects: “(a) to promote and improve gender equality (including equal remuneration between women and men) in employment and in the workplace”. Remuneration is therefore but one example. Without that example, the object is actually more generic being “to promote and improve gender equality in employment and in the workplace”. On the parameter of fatalities arising from work, work is very unequal.
The occupational health and safety statutes are key in this space. Ostensibly they provide the same protections to everybody.
It is surprising that such a notable difference has received little or no attention. A difference of 2,000% should also be at least interesting if not compellingly so. Especially when it is an issue of life and death.
* Rate per 100,000, 2018, Safe Work Australia