According to a study, employers think they can pay women less than men for the same work.
The research, by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, found education, experience or historical factors were far from being the reasons why women earned 17 per cent less than male colleagues.
Researchers found the gender pay gap largely existed because employers discriminated against women for "simply being female", The Courier-Mail reported.
The report further pointed out that the disparity cost the Australian economy 93 billion dollars a year in lost output.
Federal Minister for the Status of Women Tanya Plibersek, who commissioned the report, said: "It's not good for the family budget but it's also an enormous source of potential growth in he economy and in businesses."