Women in Canada are still earning significantly less than men across all levels of education, the Globe and Mail reports. Women working full time in Canada earn, on average, 73.5 cents for every dollar that their male colleagues make. A new report released today by Oxfam Canada and the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives found that the gap has fluctuated slightly but not significantly shrunk in Canada:
In spite of high levels of education among girls and women, the wage gap in Canada is getting bigger, not smaller. In 2009, women earned 74.4% of what men earned, in 2011 it was 72%. The gap is worse for marginalized women, including Aboriginal and racialized women.
Policies that actively promote better wages for women and better health and childcare services could help to alleviate pay inequity, the report suggested.
“Women make up some of the poorest and lowest paid workers in the global economy," said Brittany Lambert, Policy Advisor for Oxfam Canada, in a statement. "And as our report shows, women are doing more and more work to grow countries’ economies without seeing equal benefits.”
In the U.S., women on average earn 78 cents to the dollar–black women earn just 64 cents to the dollar, and for Latina women that number is 54 cents to every dollar that their male colleagues are paid. In January, President Obama announced a new plan requiring companies with more than 250 employees to report their wages by gender, which could help the government develop policies and encourage employers to improve their female employees' pay.
The gender wage gap is a problem for women world wide–the U.K. just announced a similar plan to force companies to disclose their gender wage gaps, but with the added provision that the government will be publishing league tables to publicly shame the companies with the widest disparities. Recently-elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that closing the gender wage gap needs to be a priority, though the Canadian government has yet to propose a specific plan.