Toronto – April 14, 2015 – Across North America, Equal Pay Day is commemorated on different days between April 14 - 20, to call attention to how far into the next year a woman must work to earn the same amount made by a man the previous year.
According to data from Statistics Canada, the average annual earnings of all women compared to men is 66.7% — a 33.3% gap, which is up from last year. This measure includes women working part-time, with about two thirds of all part-time workers being women.
Taken over the course of a lifetime, the gender pay gap means women would have to work the equivalent of 14 years longer after the age of 65 to earn the same amount as men by age 65. In Canada, only Ontario and Quebec have proactive pay equity laws covering both public and private sector workers. Under these laws, employers must take steps to identify and eliminate wage discrimination.
Employers need to put in place non-discriminatory hiring, employment and retention practices for women and particularly women of colour, Aboriginal women and women with disabilities who experience greater pay gaps and disadvantage. Women also need to have access to affordable and accessible childcare. Child care is the ramp that provides equal access to the workforce for mothers.
Pay equity is a growing global movement. Women and men around the world recognize the importance of measures to close the pay gap.
If you are interested in participating in Equal Pay Day, wear red on Equal Pay Day to show how far women are "in the red" when it comes to equal pay. You can also participate on social media using the hashtag #EqualPayDay.
For more information on Equal Pay Day, click here.