The gender wage gap – the difference between wages earned by women compared to wages earned by men for similar work – is very real in the province of Ontario. Statistics Canada reports that female workers within the province, on average, earn 26 percent less than men in equivalent positions. In other words, women earn 74 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.
The government of Ontario recently released the “Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee” final report and has begun work on efforts to close the gap, eliminate barriers currently preventing women from fully participating in today’s workforce, and create equal employment opportunities for prosperity.
How the Government Plans to Close the Gender Wage Gap
The Ontario government is moving toward closing the gender wage gap with the following steps:
- Making gender salary data available to the public, increasing income transparency.
- Public policy process is now required to have gender-based analysis.
- Building a system of accessible, affordable and high-quality child care and early-years programs.
- Providing employers with additional resources, such as anti-discrimination educational and training materials.
The Steering Committee also proposed further consultations and reviews to facilitate the creation of an effective, practical cross-government strategy focused on closing the gender wage gap in Ontario. Tracy MacCharles, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, and Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour, will bring together labour, business, equality advocates and human resources professionals as part of a working group designed to delve into these issues, and provide solid, actionable advice.
Closing the gender wage gap is part of the provincial government’s economic plan of building up Ontario and delivering on its promise to create jobs and grow the provincial economy.
Just the Facts
- Statistics Canada reports the gender wage gap in Ontario ranges from between 14 – 26 percent.
- The gender wage gap is more pronounced for women with disabilities, Indigenous women, and women who self-identify as being within minority sections of the workforce.
- The Royal Bank of Canada has estimated personal incomes would increase by $168 billion annually if Canadian women had the same workforce opportunities as their male counterparts.
While the steps being implemented by the Ontario government won’t close the gender wage gap overnight, they are vitally important steps toward balancing an uneven playing field. It’s a simple truth: Happy, valued and invested employees outperform their disheartened colleagues, generating in increased productivity. And that means great things for everyone involved.
The team at Employment Professionals Canada is experts in the fields of staffing and HR in Ontario. If you are looking for assistance in navigating the ever-changing world of employment updates in Ontario, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our employment services and expertise.