If you can’t define what a woman is, how can you define “gender pay gap”?
I’m going to hazard a guess here: those acquaintances of yours who claim that there is a gender pay gap in Australia will be unable to define a woman when asked. You try it out for yourself.
There are two ways of defining gender pay gap. One is correct and the other isn’t. The incorrect way is to add up total earnings of men and women separately then divide by the total number of men and women respectively and compare the two answers. They will be different. That allows the unscrupulous and the unthinking to cry “gender pay gap!” very loudly. Just like how today’s story in The Age reports.
However, the above calculations merely represent average earnings of men and women. Nothing can be inferred about whether men and women are paid equally by looking at averages.
The correct way to test for a gender pay gap is to look at pay for equivalent work. Then you will find that Australian business does not pay different rates for men vs women.