Top male-dominated political jobs in Canberra



More women work in the federal parliament than men, but they overwhelmingly occupy the lowest-paying jobs, according to new data released this week.

Men dominate the highest-paying positions in parliament in roles such as chief of staff and senior adviser, according to Finance Department documents.

Senator Larissa Waters.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

A total of 1,154 women were employed as advisers under the Law on Members of Parliamentarians as of March 31, 2021; while 871 men worked under this law for government, opposition and small parties.

After months of shocking allegations of bullying, sexism, inappropriate behavior and alleged rape of former employee Brittany Higgins, job distribution of women and men in Federal Parliament highlights significant wage disparities and seniority inside the building.

Women dominate the ranks of election officers in categories A (367 against 251 men), B (361 against 207) and C (115 against 71) and secretaries (60 against 25). While these are important roles, they are the lowest paying positions for political staff, with salaries ranging from $ 53,364 to $ 86,180 for election officers and secretaries earning $ 50,956 to 66 $ 745.

There is a fraction of more women than men in the positions of Assistant Advisor (72 vs. 62) and Media Advisor / Advisor (113 vs. 104) with salaries ranging from $ 79,866 to $ 141,372 (before loads and other extras).

It is only in the three highest salary brackets that men dominate. Among Level 1 chiefs of staff, senior advisers and media advisers – whose salaries range from $ 133,060 to $ 161,728 – there are 34 women and 81 men.

There are 24 women who hold the position of Senior Advisor or Level 2 Media Advisor and earn between $ 133,060 and $ 174,971, but 40 men.

At the top, just eight women work as a Level 2 Chief of Staff, Level 3 Advisor, or Senior Advisor – earning between $ 149,643 and $ 269,631 – but 30 men.


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