Government unveils plans to close public sector gender pay gap

All female public servants will be paid the same as their male counterparts by 2020 and will hold half of all senior positions by the end of next year, Government says.

The Government has been promising to close the gender pay gap since last year's election and on Thursday unveiled its goals for the public sector.

There is currently a 12.5 percent gap between what men and women in the public service earn, compared to a gap of 10.8 percent in Australia last year.

The Government's plan for change will see all departments publishing reports about their progress and using standardised measurement for similar to roles to ensure they were balanced out during the next pay round.

At least 50 per cent of all jobs in the top three rungs of the civil service would also be held by women by the end of 2019, Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter - who is due to soon have her first baby - said.

"In 2018 it's unacceptable that women are still concentrated in lower-paid occupations, under-represented in leadership while at the same time doing the majority of unpaid caring responsibilities," she said.

"Government has a leadership role to play."

The move will also make all government workplaces "flexible" by default and ensure by Christmas there is no difference in starting salaries for the same roles.

Researchers said while factors such as education, occupations and hours worked account for a small part of the pay gap, about 80 per cent of the difference between what men and women earned is down to "unexplained" factors, such as biases and attitudes.