Gender wage gaps show that workplace inequalities continue to exist. Nearly half of Ontario’s workforce is female yet women earn less than men throughout their working lives.
Despite increased participation in the workforce and higher levels of education and increased skills, women still face significant barriers and disadvantages in employment compared to men.
More women than men are in lower-paying jobs, are disproportionately represented in minimum wage and part-time work and are under-represented in occupations that have higher-paying wages. This negatively affects women, their families and Ontario’s economy.
In many of today’s families, both parents work and try to balance work and family responsibilities. Workplaces have been slow to adjust to this emerging trend. Ontario’s economic stability and growth depend on a strong, productive labour force. However, its workforce is aging and there is a shortage of workers in several sectors. We need to make best use of all available talent (both men and women).
A 2005 report from the Royal Bank of Canada estimated that if women in Canada had the same labour market opportunities as men, personal incomes would be $168 billion higher each year. Research shows that equal opportunity employers attract talented staff with better morale and motivation, resulting in better productivity.
The gender wage gap is the difference between wages earned by men and women. There are many ways to measure the gender wage gap – by hourly earnings, annual earnings – and including all earners or just full year earners. The wage gap in Ontario, on average, ranges from 12% to 31%.
The Ontario government is examining ways that government, business, labour, and individuals can work together to identify opportunities – and barriers – to closing the gender wage gap. The gender wage gap is even greater for women who experience other forms of discrimination. Some women, like Aboriginal women, women with disabilities or immigrant women, face greater challenges getting a job, or full time employment.
The gender wage gap has many causes. We need to learn more about them, why they continue to occur, and their effects – then work to address workforce inequality and make changes so that we all can succeed.
Closing Ontario’s Gender Wage Gap requires all of us to be involved. We want to hear from you about your employment choices and experiences. Our questions are below.
This consultation will help us develop a strategy that will work to close the wage gap between men and women in Ontario, working in the 21st century economy. Actions that will help women and their families and actions that might change discriminatory social norms should be considered. Closing the gender wage gap is not only good for women. It is good for all Ontarians.
Gender Wage Gap Strategy Steering Comittee,
400 University Avenue, 12th floor,
Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1T7
(Attention: Gender Wage Gap Strategy Steering Committee)
Please provide your response by Friday, January 15, 2016.
Please provide your contact information in your cover letter. Please do not include it in the submission itself, unless you agree to have your contact information become public (see “Notice to Consultation Participants” below).
Thank you for participating.
Submissions and comments provided become part of the public consultation process. The Ministry of Labour may publish any submissions, comments, or summaries of them. In addition, the Ministry may share your submissions, comments, or summaries of them, with other parties during and after the consultation period.
Therefore, please note:
Personal information collected during this consultation is under the authority of the Gender Wage Strategy Steering Committee and is in compliance with subsection 38(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Personal information provided in your submission is voluntary and will be used by the Committee in order to develop recommendations to help create a strategy that aims to close the gender wage gap.
If you have any questions regarding privacy matters, you may contact the Ministry’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Office at 416-326-7786.