PAY GAP: Holly Ferling says there's still a long way to go.
PAY GAP: Holly Ferling says there's still a long way to go. john mccutcheon

Holly Ferling fights to close the growing gender pay gap

QUEENSLAND'S gender pay gap is higher than it was 20 years ago, and even professional athletes are falling victim to the injustice.

Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman said women earned an average of 82% of a male's wage and it "simply isn't good enough".

"These figures should be a wake-up call to anyone who suggests the fight for gender equality is no longer an issue," Ms Fentiman said.

Australian cricketer Holly Ferling, from Kingaroy, said the pay gap between male and female athletes was stopping women from realising their potential.

"If we want female Aussie athletes to be the best in the world, we need to pay them a bit extra to let them reach their peak," she said.

She said in women's sport, cricket especially, the men's and women's game were matched.

"Whether it's men's cricket or women's cricket, cricket is just cricket," she said.

"The rules are all the same, the game is the same.

"We're hoping to break down those barriers." 

However her expectations were realistic and she considered her sport a business.

"In order for us to have those ridiculous salaries, we've got to be able to prove ourselves," she said.

"If we're not putting our best performance out there and people don't watch our games, then we don't deserve the recognition."

For female cricket players to see the same salaries as their male counterparts, Holly said their games would need a broader audience.

And she said this year was their chance to play on a bigger stage.

Cricket Australia announced a Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) would be played from next month.

Holly said the league would give female players the exposure they deserved.

With that exposure, she said the money would come.

"By being on TV, we're aware this is a make-or- break year for us," she said.

The first WBBL first game will be broadcast on December 5. For more on Queensland's pay gap visit http://www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au.