January 21, 2021
By Robyn Doolittle and Chen Wang, The Globe and Mail
The first equal pay legislation in Canada passed in 1951, making it illegal to pay men and women in the same job different salaries. Women overtook men among university graduates three decades ago. Today, women represent just under half of the workforce. And yet, men still dramatically outnumber, outrank and outearn women.
What is the Power Gap?
It’s been 70 years since Ontario became the first jurisdiction in Canada to pass pay equity legislation. Fifty years since governments began enacting laws that banned discrimination in hiring, firing and promotions on the basis of sex. Forty years since the federal government made it illegal for employers to fire a woman for becoming pregnant. Thirty years since women overtook men in university graduating classes. And it’s been 10 years since the wage gap budged in any significant way.
For women in the workplace, progress has stalled. By almost every metric, they continue to lag generations behind men.
Two and a half years ago, the Globe and Mail set about trying to understand why. What we found is that inequities run much deeper than compensation or a lack of female CEOs.