For this week’s editorial I did some definite digging of information not only to support my strong opinion, but also to search for a reason as to why women workers are compensated less in comparison to their male counterparts.
I may not be a feminist, but I’m definitely a woman of opinion. Canada is a first world country. We are highly developed and competitive. Our country has a strong economy, advanced technologies, and world-class educational opportunities. For all of the reasons above (with more to follow below), I then ask why is it that Canadian women earn an average of 20 per cent less than their male colleagues?
According to a 2010 study, Canada has the fourth largest male-female income discrepancy of the 30 Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
The OECD report found that while the overall number of women in the workforce is high at 62 per cent, only about one-third of managerial positions are held by women. Where men and women do hold the same job, they often do not take home the same salary.
The province of Saskatchewan came in at number four of 10 of Canada’s most inequitable provinces, according to MSN Money.
While I sat wide-eyed in disbelief that 21st century Canadian women are still fighting for equality, I clicked through the online slideshow. According to the research, Saskatchewan’s gender wage gap is 18.1 per cent; with a male average annual salary of $55, 110.12 compared to a female average annual salary of $45, 155.24.
The widest gender wage gap province is Alberta, with a discrepancy of 24.6 per cent. The male average annual salary is $63, 434.28 compared to a female average annual salary of $47, 844.16.
According to a 2006 Canada Census population report, in the age group of 15-64 (employable demographic) for every 100 men, Canada had 102 women.
We’re out there in the workforce and we’re out there in the classroom. We out number men, so why don’t we out earn them?
There are more women than men earning postsecondary educations. According to Statistics Canada, in 2006/07, women accounted for 56 per cent of college enrolments and 59 per cent of graduates. In 2008, 62 per cent of all university undergrads were women.
Women are working, studying and contributing but aren’t seeing the same payoff that men do.
According to the Stats Canada report “Women in Canada: Economic well-being”, between 2000 and 2008 average total income for Canadian women increased nearly twice the pace as it did for men, although women continued to have lower income margins. The gender wage gap was narrower among women who worked on a full-time, full-year basis which makes me question the reason for the income inequalities. One report suggested that part of the difference in earnings for men and women was related to hours worked, with women working fewer hours than their male colleagues.
About 25 per cent of women work in part-time positions, compared to just six per cent of men.
In my opinion, and research did allude to the assumption, women are generally more likely to leave the labour force for a long-term period (when having children). The OECD made recommendations in the report that included the promotion of more equal use of parental leave between men and women, and favoured more investment in childcare so the high costs do not create a barrier for women returning to work.
In the 21st century women can do it all.
Whether we’re running the office or running the house, women deserve the same appreciation and compensation as men.