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10 ways to close Ontario's gender pay gap

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Author: 
Cornish, Mary
Publication Date: 
9 Apr 2013
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A new Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA-Ontario) report challenges the Ontario government to take 10 steps to close the province's persistent pay gap between men and women.

The report, 10 Ways To Close Ontario's Gender Pay Gap, shows women in Ontario still earn 28 per cent less than men - despite increased levels of education and workforce participation.

"At this rate, Ontario's gender pay gap is significant enough that women would have to work an extra three months a year in order to match men's income," says the report's author Mary Cornish, a legal expert in pay and employment equity. "Ontario is on the wrong side of history on this issue - it's time for a change."

Among the report's key findings:

  • While some progress has been made in decreasing the gender pay gap over the past generation, much of the decrease reflects men's declining income, rather than women's increasing income;
  • Despite increased levels of formal education, women in Ontario still earn 72 cents to the male dollar;
  • The pay gap remains steadfast for younger women: there is a higher percentage gap - 39 per cent - between women and men's earnings for those aged 35 and 44 in Ontario;
  • Racialized, Aboriginal, and women with disabilities disproportionately find themselves on the lower end of the income scale in Ontario - reflecting systemic discrimination in the labour market;
  • Women are more likely to work multiple part-time jobs or work in low-pay jobs. For instance, 60 per cent of minimum wage earners are women;
  • Low-income work shadows women throughout their lives: Ontario's gender pay gap is so high, women would have to work 13 years longer to earn the same pay that men earn by the time they turn 65.

"None of this is inevitable," says CCPAOntario Director Trish Hennessy. "This report outlines 10 steps to close the gender pay gap. Solutions are at hand."

 

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Entered Date: 
22 May 2013
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