GRSJ224/wage discrimination in canada

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Wage discrimination is a topic that is constantly being discussed in today's day and age. The gender wage gap, the difference in income between men and women in the workforce, is a tragedy that not only takes place in Canada, but on a global scale as well. This discrepancy can be seen as discrimination against women in the workplace, and in addition, lessens women's economic equality. Oftentimes women are receiving lower wages based on the fact that they simply cannot do as much as men, and this can be seen as gender discrimination at its finest. Moreover, Canada has been recognized as the having the 7th highest wage gap according to the OCED.

Although the history behind the gender wage gap has seen a steady decrease over the past few decades, it is still something that exists. This is in part due to the increase of women in the workforce to about 60%, thus leaving more room for a wage gap disparity. According to statistics Canada, women in the Canadian workforce earn $0.87 for every $1 than men earn. The average job that a woman occupies is also a factor when considering the gender wage gap. Traditional female jobs on most occasions pay less than traditional men’s jobs. Women in the workforce are almost always employed in lower-wage industries and occupations because the majority are contained to nursing, teaching, and office and administrative work. Generally speaking, these occupations tend to have relatively low incomes compared to jobs that are primarily male dominated such as sales consultants, real estate brokers, CEO’s and many more. Moreover, men make up more than half the workforce in the fields of technology, engineering, and science; jobs in these fields tend to make more money and have higher wages than the fields that women work in, further contributing to the wage gap.

The role of women in society also play a crucial role in the gender wage gap as part time workers, 18.9% of female workers are part time compared to the 5.5% of male part time workers. The most common cause that puts women out of the workforce is family and children; women are the ones who bear children, which gives them the inability to work. After 35-37 weeks of pregnancy, women commonly take a maternity leave as they no longer have the ability work at full capacity, their priority becomes their health along with the baby’s. Moreover, once they give birth to their children, they continue on a maternity leave for another few months to take care of their child. Majority of women with a spouse experience this cycle, and this significant time off work heavily contributes to the gender wage gap. Women with previous children may also only be available to work part time because they may be unable to pay for childcare. This leaves them stuck taking care of their children while remaining out of the workforce. Women working only part time strains their ability to receive further training and ultimately be promoted in their current jobs which would lead to a higher wage and or salary.

There are a number of things the government and society can do to close the lessen and even close the wage gap that still persists. Firstly, we can attempt to help women enter into higher-wage jobs through getting them into the fields of science, technology, and engineering. We can also recognize and attempt to dismantle the gender stereotypes that reinforce notions of suited or appropriate jobs dedicated towards men and women. Women with post-secondary education should have equal chances and opportunity in getting the same jobs as men do because they are essentially qualified. The government is also encouraging males to take parental leaves instead of it always being the woman of the household; this would help bring the percentage of female part time workers down to the same percentage as males and it would make a significant contribution to closing the wage gap. Another way to reduce wage discrimination would be to apply pay equity acts, in which it states that private and public-sector employers “value and compare jobs usually done by women to those usually done by men in an objective and consistent way using factors of skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.” Furthermore, women must receive compensation that is equal to that of males or of comparable value. Moreover, the government could implement pay transparency, a system where all publicly advertised job postings have a wage or salary. So far Ontario is the only province that is currently adopting this principle. The Canadian government under Justin Trudeau is working diligently to close the gender wage gap, they have created a number of bills and laws that are aimed at narrowing the wage gap.