Today is Equal Pay Day in Ontario. This year marks the 3rd annual Equal Pay Day and the first year officially recognized by the Ontario government. Currently, the Ontario pay gap is 29.4%. This means that women earn 70.6 cents for every dollar a man earns in Ontario.
What is Equal Pay Day?
Equal Pay Day is a day dedicated to acknowledging the province of Ontario’s pay gap between working men and women.
Why April 19th?
April 19th was chosen because women in Ontario that work full-time have to work roughly three and a half months to catch up to how much a man has earned by the end of the previous year.
What is the goal of Equal Pay Day?
The goal of Equal Pay Day is to develop steps to close the wage gap in Ontario.
What contributes to the wage gap?
The wage gap is based on a systematic pattern of undervaluing women’s workplace skills despite women, on average, being higher educated, entering into new occupations, and increasing their labour force participation.
Other driving factors in this inequality include:
- fragmentation of the workplace
- declining equality role of governments
- decline of unionization
- impact of unequal households an unpaid care obligations
What effects does unequal pay have?
This wage gap contributes to hardship and economic losses for women, their families, and their communities. The pay gap contributes to poverty, economic insecurities, and ill health among women in Ontario.
I’ve heard that if you do the calculations the pay gap disappears, is that true?
No, this is a myth! The pay gap exists any way you calculate it. Visit the Equal Pay Coalition website here for answers to other common pay gap myths.
What can we do to close that gap?
The Ontario Equal Pay Coalition offers ’12 Steps to Closing the Gap’, they are:
- Treat closing the gap as a human rights priority
- Raise awareness through annual Equal Pay Days and education
- Develop a ‘close the gender gap by 2025’ plan
- Enforce and expand pay equity laws
- Implement employment equity law and policies
- Promote access to collective bargaining
- Increase the minimum wage
- Provide affordable and accessible child care
- Mainstream equity compliance into government laws and policies
- Mainstream equity compliance into workplaces and businesses
- End violence and harassment of women
- Secure decent work for women across the economic spectrum
Where can I find more information?
For more information visit the Equal Pay Coalition website.
Additionally, a report was published yesterday from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives outlining the status of the gender pay gap in Ontario. It can be found here.