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Posts Tagged ‘pay equity’

Despite what Margaret Wente might claim, women in Canada still have a lot to work for. Today’s Globe and Mail has an article about how women still don’t expect equal pay:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/managing/on-the-job/women-expect-less-pay-from-the-start/article2028830/

The article explains how a recent study found that female university students still expect to earn considerably less than their male colleagues, and also have lower career advancement expectations. While professors and students quoted in the article report being shocked at this, the expectation does in fact line up with reality. The article sites a 2008 StatsCan statistic that women earn 83.3 cents to every dollar a man makes (As this LEAF pay equity fact sheet explains, the wage gap is even greater for Aboriginal women, women of colour, and racialized and new immigrant women).  The study’s co-author, Sean Lyons, indicated that although young women are entering traditionally male-dominated fields in greater numbers, this does not necessarily result in more equality in the labour market.  As the Globe article states, “The study found evidence that this is because women form their expectations based on historical gender-role stereotyping and discrimination in the labour market.”

This is pretty sobering food for thought as members of Robson Hall’s class of 2011 begin their articling positions and the class of 2012 begins the process to find articles.

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The wonderful Sally Hawkins in a based on a true story film about pay equity in England. An inspiring feminist movie that should remind us how far we’ve come and how much we have yet to do.

This one might be worth an FLF field trip down to the Globe!

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The Supreme Court has granted leave to appeal on a landmark pay equity case. The Canada Post union, Public Service Alliance of Canada, has been ensnared in a battle with Canada Post over their 1983 claim that female Canada Post employees were being discriminated against as they were receiving less pay than men in similar jobs.

For more on this story, head to

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/supreme-court-to-hear-landmark-canada-post-pay-equity-case/article1840346/

And for a related story, check out

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/womens-income-growing-faster-than-mens/article1840499/

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According to statements made by the Equal Pay Coalition (http://www.equalpaycoalition.org/what_is.php) and statistics Canada, Canadian women make an average of 29% less than men.  A statistic that is worsened in cases involving racial minority women (who earn an average of 36% less than men) and Aboriginal women (who earn an average of 54% less than men).
I spent a significant amount of time this summer discussing the issues of discrimination and equality in Canada with Canadian youth.  The focus of these discussions varied from person to person and touched on everything from unequal opportunities for immigrants and refugees to discrimination towards youth in convenience stores.  Surprisingly, sexism was generally not a common point of discussion; that is until the issue of pay equity was raised.  Whenever I spoke with young persons about the wage inequalities that exist in Canada, they could not believe it, especially since our society has seemingly made a conscious effort to tell women that they are equal, that they are just as capable and worth just as much as men.
Whether it be from their teachers, parents, or other authoritative figures, young women often stated that they had been told extensively that they were equally as valuable as men. However, being told one thing and being paid another seemed to leave many young women angered and confused by the contradiction. In a country that delegates so much time and attention to its economy and dollar worth, how can it promote equality when it has blatantly affixed a lower price tag on its female citizens than its male citizens? 

* Meghan Menzies is a 2nd year student at Robson Hall. She spent her summer working at PILC in Winnipeg. Her dance moves are notoriously awesome.

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