The Reality of the Gender Pay Gap in Canada



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The gender pay gap is an issue that is not unique only to Canada; globally, there is a gender pay gap in different workforces. According to self-reported survey statistics, women continue to earn 23% lower total income (pre-tax pay and other compensation) than men. 

Pre-tax earnings for women remain 21% lower than for males, and variable pay, such as incentives, profit-sharing, or stock agreements, worsens the gap. In 2020, Canadian working-class women generated 43% less in other compensation than their male counterparts.

This statistic is an indicator of women’s economic inequity in the workplace. Among 43 countries analyzed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Canada ranked 8th as one of the countries with the largest pay gaps between genders.

What is the Gender Gap Pay in Canada?

Also referred to as the wage gap, the gender pay gap is the average compensation difference between working-class men and women. Women are typically observed to be underpaid in comparison to their male counterparts. 

Generally, the wage gap can be measured differently, although the most prominent method is evaluating the full-time, full-year wages. Alternatively, you can review the gender wage gap based on hourly wages. 

Other ways you can calculate the gender wage gap include comparing annual earnings for both full-time and part-time workers and evaluating the hourly wages for full-time and part-time workers. Bear in mind that the calculation methods mentioned above will produce different answers.

To close the gender pay gap in society and create awareness, some organizations aim to create awareness campaigns. Some of these campaigns include – Equal Pay Day or the equal pay for equal work movement, which promotes public awareness of the gender pay gap.

In addition, a deliberate effort should be made to ensure that both men and women are in a position to make more informed employment decisions.

Types of Gender Gap Pay in Canada

Every province/territory in Canada has a quasi-constitutional human rights code that outlaws gender discrimination. Several states also have laws preventing public and private sector companies from compensating men and women differently for essentially equivalent work.

There are two types of pay gaps, they include: 

  • Adjusted Pay Gap

The adjusted pay gap considers the factors such as differences in working hours, job types, qualifications, employment experience, etc., that might influence the pay gap.

  • Non-Adjusted Pay Gap

The non-adjusted pay gap deals with the exact figures on the average differences in pay. The unadjusted gender wage gap is not a discriminatory measure. Instead, it incorporates discrepancies in average wage between men and women to act as a comparator.

Nonetheless, most gender pay gaps are not calculated based on their types. Generally, the gender wage gap can be an economic issue as it tends to make women rely more on welfare assistance, especially during old age. 

Factors that influence Gender Gap Pay in Canada

Economic activity, working hours, and job duration are some of the variables that contribute majorly to the gender pay gap in Canada. Other factors that can contribute to the gender pay gap in Canada include:

  • Gender inequalities in credentials, discrimination, overall salary structure, and differences in payment across industrial sectors all impact the gender pay gap.
  • Occupational segregation – with more men in higher-paying industries and fewer women in same the industries
  • Vertical segregation – fewer women in prominent and well-paying positions
  • Ineffective equal pay legislation, women’s overall paid working hours, and barriers to entry into the labor market are all factors that contribute to pay disparities (such as education level and single parenting rate).
  • Motherhood might have an impact on employment choices as well. Women have always been the ones who quit employment temporarily to care for their children. As a result, women prefer to pick lower-paying occupations since they have more flexibility in their schedules than males. 
  • Women have less experience than men since they work fewer hours. This factor causes them to fall behind in the labor market. 

Since women’s family obligations seem to have a longer-term impact on working mothers’ wages, encouraging a fair allocation for childcare obligations between the two parents and more engagement by fathers would be beneficial.

Eliminating Gender Gap Pay in Canada

So far, the gender gap pay is the sad reality of many working-class women. This brings us to how we can eliminate gender gap payment. Below are some ways to eliminate gender gap pay in Canada:

  • Equal pay

Although this may be a sensitive issue, the simplest method to fix a wage disparity between male and female employees is to pay equal wage. Generally, this is the most straightforward strategy to eliminate the Gender Pay Gap. It ensures that working-class individuals, regardless of gender, will receive equal wages.

  • Work from Home

Flexible employment allows women to undertake caring or childcare tasks while still keeping a profession and an income. Remote work is an essential step toward permanently closing the Gender Pay Gap as women will garner more experience while still maintaining a family. There have also been several studies that show that providing more flexible working hours may benefit organizations by increasing employee engagement and productivity.

  • Transparency

Transparency comes to play when it comes to audits. It is recommendable to be fair and honest when evaluating how your company pays staff and other benefit packages for employees, not forgetting its method to calculate wage increment.

  • Promotions and other allowances

Promotions, receiving a bonus, or enjoying a pay increase, are some of the perks male employees enjoy effortlessly in most organizations. Therefore, organizations need to review details that have to do with promotions to suit both genders. 

The conditions for getting promotions and benefits should be stated plainly to avoid misunderstandings. In addition, eligible women should be given equal opportunities to get promotions and benefits. 


Generally, women have prejudices about which career paths are acceptable. However, regardless of their genuine talents and skills, women frequently underestimate their ability to meet the academic/professional standards necessary to thrive in a given position.

Hence, it is essential to create an awareness that will sharpen and broaden women’s occupational interests while also reinforcing their confidence and adequacy via tangible experiences. 

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Kareena Maya

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.