Gladstone men paid $42k a year more than women

GLADSTONE has the third worst gender pay gap out of 73 Queensland local government areas, with the region's men getting paid about $42,600 a year more than women - that's 115% more.

The average Gladstone man earns about $79,600 and the average woman earns $37,000.

In Queensland, men get paid $22,000 more on average than women, or about 57% more.

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Figures show the biggest gap is in the technicians and trades industry, where Gladstone men get paid $48,200 more than women on average.

The second highest gap in the region is in professional roles, where men get paid about $43,400 a year more than women.

Those figures come from the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics census data taken in 2011.

But National Council of Women Queensland member and equal pay advocate Elise Stephenson said those figures had not changed.

The university student said the numbers also revealed just how bad the problem was.

"People think we're doing much better than we're actually doing," she said.

"And when you've got a perception that 'we're doing fine', there is less emphasis to change things."

Ms Stephenson said it was "absolutely ridiculous" and "outdated" that men were still getting paid more than women.

"Money is the main way we value work in our society. What does it tell us of how we value our women?"

Experts say there are several reasons why women still fall behind men when it comes to wages, from employers offering less money to being faced with deciding between a job at lower pay and no job at all.

"There has been research done on how women are more reluctant to put themselves forward," she said.

"A man will go and ask for a promotion and then prove himself but a woman will tend to prove herself and then ask for a promotion."