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Letter from the Steering Committee

Greetings,

On April 20, 2015, we were appointed to the Gender Wage Gap Strategy Steering Committee to provide advice and recommendations to the government for a strategy that will work to close the wage gap between men and women. We look forward to engaging with the people of Ontario on this very important issue – an issue that affects us all.

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 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.

Over the next several months, we will examine the causes and effects of the gender wage gap on women, of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, across the economic spectrum. We will examine societal attitudes and beliefs that influence women and men when they make decisions that change their lives, including decisions relating to education, careers, and caregiving. We will examine business practices and business culture that may contribute to the gender wage gap.

Our task is to look at ways in which government, business, labour, other organizations, and individual leaders can work together to address the conditions and barriers that lead to the gap. Public consultations will help us accomplish this task.

We want to hear your views on the issues related to the gender wage gap and how these issues may have affected you personally. We would like your advice on potential solutions for closing the gender wage gap in our province. We look forward to hearing from you, through your comments on this consultation paper or by attending our regional consultation sessions this fall.

Our vision for Ontario is a province where men and women have equal opportunity to achieve their full potential within a modern workplace, thus contributing to Ontario’s economic growth. Help us to achieve this vision.

Sincerely,
Nancy Austin,
Linda Davis,
Emanuela Heyninck,
Dr. Parbudyal Singh
Gender Wage Gap Strategy Steering Committee

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