Government & Industry Must Fix the Gender Wage Gap
Did you know that Canada has the 7th highest gender wage gap? Why is that so and especially at a time when gender equality has become such a hot topic? The number of women working in the country has increased by approximately 60% over the last 3 decades but this has not prompted the government to reduce this gap much less make equal pay a reality.
For the sake of brevity, let’s discuss how this gap is actually measured. The gender wage gap is usually determined by 1 of 3 three ways:
- By comparing the yearly earnings of both genders (part time and full time).
- By comparing the yearly earnings of full time workers
- By comparing the hourly wages according to gender including those earned by part timers.
Irrespective of the method used, a significant wage gap is evident between men and women in Canada with the latter losing out. For example, a woman in the country works an average of 66 cents for every dollar that is earned by a man in the country. Even a time and attendance system is useless if the hours are calculated in such a manner.
Benefits of closing the gender wage gap
This gross injustice has done nothing but made working women work harder for the same pay that a man would get working the same number of hours. This is especially unfair to working women who are single mothers and who do not have another source of income to support their families much less themselves. By closing the gender wage gap, the government can provide much needed aid to these families and benefit the economy at the same time.
The wage gap is often perceived as a productivity gap which is understandable. When a whole gender is under-trained, unappreciated and overworked without extra pay, there will always be a sharp dip in productivity and morale in the workplace. This has been apparent in Canada in the last decade or so. According to The Royal Bank, if Canadian women would be given equal market opportunities, their personal incomes can exceed $168 billion annually!
Businesses also have a lot to benefit if the wage gap between the genders is closed in the country. Today women surpass men when it comes to those who opt for higher education which makes this gender the best candidates to fill the massive skills gap left by an aging population. In fact, just by raising workplace inclusivity for women in the workplace by 1%, businesses can add about 115,000 workers in the labour force which will go a long way in filling said gap.
A significant portion of the Canadian population is being overlooked which is not only a gross injustice by dangerous for the economy and the country’s potential of being a business superpower. If the government and the industries it supports fail to close the gender wage gap, it may lose valuable and large share of the labour market and opportunities to grow.