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Gender wage gap still prominent in 2017

By: Kaley James 

Statistics Canada just recently updated their numbers and they show the truth of the situation. Women that work full time in Canada are continuing to earn 74.2 cents to every dollar that a full-time male makes. Tavia Grant of the Globe and Mail analysis reveals that “the pay gap exists in every province and in every major occupational group”.

This is interesting because even though over the last 20 years education levels of women have risen to pass that of men the annual wage gap still persists. “It’s disappointing because the government’s overall focus on gender equality and inclusive growth would lead you to believe that this would be an area of priority,” said Lauren Ravon, Ottawa-based director of policy and campaigns for Oxfam.


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So, why are women earning so much less? There are many different factors when looking at this. Some are that women are more likely to work part-time because they take on child or elderly care in their lifetime. They also tend to have more ‘work interruptions’ where they are off work in their careers. Also, discrimination or unconscious bias come into play where “men and women are doing exactly the same job, but women are just valued lower,” says Prof. Sarah Kaplan, director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. A good example of this is among lawyers, where a male partner is paid more than a female partner.

Even though Canada has a self-proclaimed feminist as a Prime Minister, gender equality is still not seen in Canadian work places. The gender wage inequality in Canada is larger than the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s average. Canada is ranked 7th most unequal for gender wages out of 34 industrialized countries. We are also in 35th place (of developed countries) in the World Economic Forum’s global gender gap rankings, down from 19th place in 2015.

Awareness is key to understanding and overcoming this issue. As students go into the workforce they should be aware of what is going on and speak up when inequality is happening in their workplace. You are worth it ladies.

Photo source: Huffington Post Canada