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  1. Labour study: Gender pay gap 






     “The gender pay gap continues to exist, despite decades of increasing participation in the labour market by women and legislation requiring pay equality (and in some jurisdictions in Canada, pay equity). What do you think is the most effective way to combat the gender pay gap in the workplace, and why? (Gender)”



Subject Gender Inequality Pages 6 Style APA


Gender Pay Gap in Canada

Despite the legislation moves to ensure pay equity in Canada, the gender pay gap remains a big problem. Unlike pay inequality that only compares the wages paid to men and women taking the same job, the gender pay gap refers to the average difference between women and men’s wages. Canada is not any unique from other countries of the world. The gender pay gap is abroad indicator of women’s economic equality. This gap exists in both industries and professional levels. According to the OECD report (2016), Canada was ranked eighth among 43 examined countries. Averagely, women still earn less compared to women. Recent statistics report in Canada indicates that women earn approximately CAD 0.88 for every dollar received by men. Various steps aimed at improving the equality of women in the workforce and addressing the gender gap issue have been made. Although one can support the effectiveness of the legislation and jurisdictions, a lot more need to be done to combat the gender pay gap issue in the country. This paper addresses the reasons for the continued existence of the gender gap and appropriate ways of curbing gender pay gap problem in Canada.

Why Gender Gap exists in Canada

One of the common factors that contribute to the gender pay gap in Canada is gender stereotyping of jobs. In many industries and professions, some jobs are classified as male roles and others as women roles. The result of this kind of job stereotype is a labor market division. The roles assigned to males such as mechanical jobs, constructions and engineering usually attract huge pay. While the roles assigned to women like residential care, childcare and education attract low pay resulting in a wider pay gap between genders.  The second cause of the gender pay gap is the continuous women time out of work to raise children and family. Being the child bearers, women often take maternity leaves and time off to raise their children (Higgins & Regan, 2016).  Women usually take parental leave before and after birth. Men are given equal opportunity to take parental leaves, however, only a small number of men take parental leaves. Unlike, women, who take time-off men remain at work. As a result, many employers view men as more productive than women (Parental leave and gender pay gap, 2010).

Even when women return to work after parental leaves, the majority are subjected to the motherhood penalty. Since most employers don’t offer flexibility for mothers, many of them are compelled to take lower paying and demanding jobs. Given the equal opportunity in interviews, employers would consider men and childless women because they are likely to designate enough time in production as compared to mothers. Another major cause of the gender pay gap is discrimination and biases in recruitment and pay decisions (Drolet & Branch, 2001).  Although women are better problem solvers, innovators and communicators in the workforce, many employers overlook women and consider men to be more competitive. As a result, more men are likely to be hired as compared to women. Women are not only shortchanged during recruitment and negotiations for salaries, but they are also subjected to low-performance bonuses. In many professions and industries, employers pay more performance to men as compared to women. These reasons have not only increased payment inequality between men and women in Canada but continue to increase the gender pay gap in the country despite the mechanisms set by federal legislation (Kidd & Shannon, 1994). Gender pay gap is a big drawback hindering the achievement of gender equity in the workforce and the society at large. Therefore, a better effective mechanism should be put in place to combat the gender pay gap and other problems associated with the issue. 


Curbing Gender Pay Gap in Canada

There are a number of ways of reducing the gender pay gap in Canada. The most effective way that would reduce the gender pay gap is by ensuring pay transparency. Well, I must admit that other jurisdictions have been put in place to curb the gender pay gap issue in the country. However, there is a need to follow up on the set legislation and jurisdictions to ensure that employers adhere to the set rules. The significance of pay transparency has been tested in some of the world’s big economies like the UK, Germany and Australia (Main determinants of the gender pay gap in OECD countries, 2012). The countries mentioned above-adopted pay transparency in the workforce through developing jurisdictions that force employers to balance the composition of men and women in the workforce. Further, pay transparency jurisdiction ensured that both women and men in the workforce receive equal compensation form their employers.

 Moving forward, Ontario province has set a pace in combating gender pay gap. Being the most popular province in the country that accounts for nearly 39 % percent of Canada’s workforce, the province administrators came up with a Pay Transparency Act of 2018 that came into force in the 1st date of January this year (McKenzie, 2018). The act outlines the need for employers to promote even and equal compensation between men and women. Further, the Act requires employers to increase transparency information about compensation and the composition of the workforce. Without strict follow up on the implementation of the Act, it shall not bear positive fruits for the country. Therefore, there is a need to follow up with employers. Employers who fail to implement Pay Transparency Act should face the consequences that should include strict penalties on them.

Other elements included in the Pay Transparency Act involve employers stating a salary rate publicly when jobs are advertised. Stating the expected salary in the advert informs the potential candidates about the expected pay. This informs the candidates about the salary to expect to in case the pass the interview. When an employer fails to obey the quoted salary in the job posting, employees are at liberty to take legal actions against the employer. Pay transparency rules out some of the questions that are often asked during interviews. Asking candidates about their past compensation may make employers offer less than the intended amount pay to candidates, especially women initially getting low salaries. There is room for promotion and salary increase, and pay transparency supports the need to offer better payment to all employees; both men and women. Further, pay transparency gives room for employees to disclose and discuss their wages (Billitteri & Congressional Quarterly, 2008). Hence, it gives room for women to compare their pay with their male counterparts. In the case of disparities, they have the moral obligations to ask why the differences in salaries especially for those doing the same jobs. This is possible because pay transparency does not allow any reprisals on employees who discuss their wages.

Pay transparency subjects employers with 100 employees and above to regulations that track the annual gender compensation gap. At the end of the year, employers should adjust and offer equal average pay for both men and women in the workforce. Pay transparency calls for employers to post their pay transparency reports online, which would give room for follow-ups of discrepancies to understand why the gap in wages exists (SCHIRLE, 2015). The transparency report identifies various issues in the workforce. Some of the issues include workplace discrimination, how an organization balances different genders in employment and how the different genders are paid and compensated. To me, pay transparency screens all the causes of the gender pay gap and offers solutions to such causes. Hence, the jurisdiction and legislative bodies in Canada, should not only implement the act but also follow up to ensure the strict implementation of Pay Transparency Act.

In conclusion, gender pay gap is still a big problem in Canada and the rest of the world. Although a lot has been done to ensure equity, more needs to be done to wipe out the menace in the Canadian workforce. Adopting pay transparency in the country will impose obligations to employers to take necessary steps of ensuring that there is pay equity for both males and females. The policy supports the pay equity plan in Canada. Together with the Pay Equity Plan, I believe that pay transparency will monitor and give reports on the pay gap between men and women. Once the report is available, necessary legal steps can be taken against the employers who discriminate, pay unequal wages or employ more people from one gender. Similar to pay equity legislation, pay transparency will ensure that employers value both males and females in the workforce. Implementation and strict follow up of pay transparency issue will not only combat the gender pay gap in the workforce but also ensure gender equity at the workplace.   



Billitteri, T. J., & Congressional Quarterly, I. (2008). Gender Pay Gap: Are Women Paid Fairly in the Workplace?

Drolet, M., & Branch, S. C. (2001). The Persistent Gap: New Evidence on the Canadian Gender Wage Gap.

Higgins, M., & Regan, M. (2016). The Gender Wage Gap. ABDO.

Kidd, M., & Shannon, M. (1994). An Update and Extension of the Canadian Evidence on Gender Wage Differentials. The Canadian Journal of Economics / Revue Canadienne D’Economique, 27(4), 918-938. doi:10.2307/136191

McKenzie, B. (2018). Spotlight on the Gender Pay Gap in Canada. Retrieved from https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/insight/publications

Parental leave and gender pay gap (2010) What, if any, are the effects of different sys


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