Documents tabled out of session in the Senate yesterday reveal that five years after coming to office, this Government still has no real plan to close the gender pay gap. Last year, the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee handed down its report into gender segregation in the workplace and its impact on women’s economic equality. The lengthy report was written after an inquiry process that received submissions and evidence from over 40 stakeholders and experts. It found that Australian men and women lead very different working lives. Australia has a highly gender segregated workforce. Most people work in industries or occupations which are dominated by one gender or another. This is a major contributor to the gender pay gap. Changing this dynamic requires leadership and an active role for government to deliver tangible action on pay equity. The government’s response was tabled yesterday. It took 13 months to produce an eight page response that merely “notes” 5 of the 9 recommendations. The government’s response does little to set out a plan to close the gender pay gap. It fails to provide any meaningful action on pay equity. This important issue didn’t even warrant a response from a relevant Cabinet Minister. Neither Ministers Cash nor O’Dwyer had any response to one of the most significant economic and employment issues facing Australian women, instead flicking it down to junior Minister Laundy to provide a response. Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer has previously announced that she intends to deliver a women’s economic security statement in September. Time will tell if this statement continues the Government’s willful blindness to the problems faced by Australian women. This government likes to talk about aspiration and ambition. It’s a shame it can’t recognise them in Australian women. Fair pay for working women will be a first order economic priority for a new Labor Government.