The first four months of the coronavirus pandemic added an extra four years to the time it will take to bridge the gender pay gap, according to findings of a new report.
It will now take 36 years for economic equality to be achieved in Australia, up from 32 years, the Financy Women's Index found.
While men bore the brunt of a sharpening underemployment rate, the gap between men and women in both full-time employment and the participation rate had widened.
"As the Financy Women's Index shows, COVID-19 has only exacerbated the divide between men and women in unpaid work," Deloitte Access Economics partner Nicki Hutley said.
"Even if we return to the path of improvement seen before the pandemic, we remain a full generation away from achieving equality."
The increase in the number of years to economic equality had come after years of growth, Financy Women's Index founder Bianca Hartge-Hazelman said.
"The volume of cuts to full-time female jobs in 2020 has reversed two years of female employment growth and has derailed a multi-decade trend which saw female workforce participation steadily expand," she said.
The gap was also because the most significant job cuts were in female-dominated sectors such as accommodation, food services and arts and recreation.
YWCA Canberra chief executive Frances Crimmins said the results were not surprising.
She also warned the gap could be further exacerbated and more support for women is needed.
"All of our recovery that has been outlined by the government is supporting the sector that men work in, so women have been the most impacted but when you see stimulus packages in construction and building - they are all male-dominated professions," she said.
"I would be concerned it has potential to widen."
Ms Crimmins called for a "women's budget" when the delayed federal budget is handed down in October.
"We absolutely need any economic stimulus recovery to do a gendered women's budget," she said.
"It means when you make a policy announcement you are looking from the gendered impacts of how this will impact women across everything. It's not just a generic policy that women might benefit from but it is actually how it will impact women."