Daily News Roundup

November 13, 2018

TUESDAY, November 13

Men continue to earn more than women across the workforce and while the gender pay gap is decreasing, it is not moving in the right direction in all sectors, reports the ABC..

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s (WGEA) annual report shows men continue to out-earn women across every industry and occupation, including managers and non-managers.

Data collected from 4.1 million employees shows the gender pay gap continued to narrow in 2017-18, declining 1.1 per cent — its largest single-year drop since the report began five years ago.

Men’s average full-time pay, including bonuses and other extra remuneration, is now 21.3 per cent — or $25,717 per year — more than women’s.

The gap for base pay is narrower, with women earning an average of 16.2 per cent less than men.

“I think progress towards gender equality is heading in the right direction but it is slow,” WGEA director Libby Lyons said.

“We’ve had a group of employers taking action and that’s why we’ve seen great results, but we need far more employers recognising that gender equality is good for business, and so taking action.”

The pay gap continues to favour men across all levels of the workforce, from clerical and administrative workers through to executives and general managers.

Four of 19 industries saw their gender pay gap widen in the most recent year, including the female-dominated health care and social assistance sector, where the gap now stands at 16.1 per cent — up from 14.7 per cent in 2015-16.

Ms Lyons described the increasing pay gap in health care as “very concerning”.

“Employers might think that just because they’re female-dominant, they don’t have a problem — that is absolutely not true,” she said.

The finance sector continues to have the highest pay gap, at more than 30 per cent or an average of nearly $49,000 per year, but has posted a steady decline over the past five years.

Construction has the next-largest pay gap at 29.4 per cent, after a 2 per cent increase over the year.

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Speaking publicly for the first time since she was sacked from the ABC, former managing director Michelle Guthrie has detailed explosive allegations about her relationship breakdown with the board and the former chair, Justin Milne.

In the Four Corners investigation, Ms Guthrie and Mr Milne made claims and counterclaims about alleged political interference and pressure to fire journalists at the national broadcaster, reports the ABC’s Sarah Ferguson and p[atyricia Drum.

Ms Guthrie was sacked from the ABC in late September and just days later Mr Milne resigned in the face of allegations of political interference.

In August this year Ms Guthrie was summoned to a meeting with the former chairman and told that the ABC board had deep concerns with her leadership.

Three days later, in conversation with board director Donny Walford, who was acting as Ms Guthrie’s executive coach, the former managing director made a claim that Mr Milne had engaged in inappropriate behaviour.

Ms Guthrie alleged that Mr Milne touched her inappropriately, rubbing her back, while they were at a board dinner at Sydney restaurant Billy Kwong in November 2017. Mr Milne categorically denies the claim.

“Inappropriate touching is the best description of it,” Ms Guthrie said.

“I felt icky. It was inappropriate. It was unprofessional and inappropriate.

“It didn’t have an effect on my professional relationship with him, but it was certainly in [my] mind that in social settings … I tried to avoid putting myself into situations where that might recur.”

Mr Milne insists the incident never happened.

“Definitely not. I think she meant that to have a sexual innuendo about it, which I can’t possibly for the life of me understand why she would say that,” he said.

“I’ve had no physical relationship with Michelle at all. I never, ever acted inappropriately with Michelle, or indeed with any other woman in the workforce, or any other woman at all.”

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Stan Lee, the writer behind some of the world’s best-known comic book characters including Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Panther, the Avengers and the X-Men, has died aged 95.

Lee died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles on Monday (local time) , according to Kirk Schenck, an attorney for Lee’s daughter, Joan Celia Lee.

Lee began his career in comics in 1939 as an office assistant at Timely Comics, which would later become Marvel Comics.

Working alongside artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Lee created dozens of well-known characters and helped bring about what is now known as Marvel’s Silver Age.

Lee’s creations have been made even more popular over the past decade with the release of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the highest-grossing film franchise of all time.

Its more than 20 films have earned more than $US6.2 billion ($8.2 billion) at the box office.

This year’s release of Avengers: Infinity War broke the record for the highest opening week, raking in $831 million worldwide.

Despite his fundamental contribution to Marvel’s success, Lee’s estate was reported to be worth only a fraction of what the company earned from his ideas.

He never received copyright ownership or royalty payments for his writing, although he was reportedly paid $1.3 million a year by Marvel.

His final years were also marked by a legal battle against his company POW! Entertainment and allegations of elder abuse.

 

This daily news roundup is curated with stories from ABC News.

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