Introducing the new video series called Significant!

Kadie Ward, Commissioner and CAO of Ontario’s Pay Equity Commission, describes the difference between equal pay and equal pay for work of equal value. She also reflects on how International Equal Pay Day is an opportunity to recognize the progress made and how much more work there is to be done to promote fairness, diversity, and economic empowerment for all individuals regardless of gender.

Click here to view: Significant – Ep. 11 – Equal Pay Day [AD] on Vimeo

Introducing the new video series called Significant!2023-09-19T13:19:51-05:00

Pay equity is good for everyone – let’s make it a reality: Opinion

By Julie Cafley, PhD and Kadie Ward

International Equal Pay Day, recognized by the United Nations and observed on September 18, acknowledges the crucial need for society to address ongoing efforts to achieve equal pay for equal work. This year, it comes on the heels of a blockbuster summer for women’s economic power in show business.

We saw women-centred entertainment drive record-breaking revenue at the box office and on the music charts. Whether it was the Barbie movie, Beyonce’s “Renaissance” tour, or Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour, these most-talked-about women of the summer have all used their platforms to champion pay equity, too.

How does that translate to actual progress for everyday women?

We’ve heard many corporate leaders’ good intentions to address the issue for years. We’ve read the commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion, but things have not substantially changed despite these declarations.

According to Catalyst research, Canadian women face a gender pay gap by every measure.  Among all workers in 2021, women earned 88.7 per cent of what men earned based on average hourly wage rates. For racialized women, the pay gap is even wider. Canadian women of colour made only 59 per cent of what Canadian men earned who did not self-identify as people of colour.

As monetary policymakers look to curb inflation, the research reminds us that unlocking the economic benefits gained through pay equity measures is undeniable.

An often-cited report by McKinsey estimated that by 2026, Canada can potentially add $150 billion to its annual GDP by supporting women’s participation in the workforce. Transparency in salary ranges on job descriptions can shift the responsibility from candidates to organizations, promoting fairness and equality.

Another McKinsey study has documented the effect of including and excluding women in 1,000 organizations across 15 countries since 2015. It showed how gender-diverse and inclusive teams are more likely to innovate, radically helping their companies gain a competitive edge. In addition, companies with gender diversity on executive teams were 25 per cent more likely to experience above-average profitability than peer companies without it.

In short, gender equity is good for everyone and the bottom line.

One initiative helping address this imperative is Catalyst’s CEO Champions for Change, where leaders pledge to increase women’s representation in senior leadership and on boards and provide valuable data towards this goal.

Having diverse and representative leadership is essential to drive tangible change in culture. A critical aspect of this is the need to address not only gender but also other intersectional realities such as race, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation. According to the “critical mass theory” by Harvard professor Rosabeth Kanter, a group needs 30 per cent representation to impact culture significantly.

Equity issues should be at the forefront of strategic plans, balanced scorecards, and institutional metrics. A systematic and data-driven approach is needed to drive progress and create a better understanding of leadership selection and why workplace equity still eludes us.

By prioritizing concrete plans to close the wage gap and achieve equal pay, we can create a fair and inclusive society that benefits individuals and boosts the economy. Plus, it’s the right thing to do. Just ask Barbie, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift.

Julie Cafley, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of Catalyst Canada, a global non-profit that advances inclusive workplaces. Kadie Ward is Commissioner & Chief Administrative Officer, Pay Equity Commission of Ontario.

Pay equity is good for everyone – let’s make it a reality: Opinion2023-09-19T13:20:35-05:00

Ontario Pay Equity Office: Canada’s Gender Wage Gap has narrowed but the Gender Pension Gap has not

A new analysis published by Ontario’s Pay Equity Office (PEO) finds women in Canada, on average, received 18% less retirement income than men in 2020. This gap is three percent higher than the 15% gap observed in 1976, the earliest year for which data is available (Statistics Canada). While this Gender Pension Gap (GPG) has fluctuated over the decades, it has not narrowed.

Unfortunately, the GPG is a persistent global phenomenon. The average GPG across 34 member countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was 25.6% (OECD, 2021). Domestically, a GPG can be observed in every province in Canada, with the narrowest gap in Prince Edward Island at 13% and the widest gap in Alberta at 23% in 2020 (Statistics Canada). When looking at the gap through an intersectional lens, a GPG is observed in all visible minority groups, with the narrowest gap between Japanese women and Caucasian men at 24% and the widest gap between West Asian women and Caucasian men at 64%.

Kadie Ward, Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer of the PEO believes these findings warrant attention. “We see that the Gender Wage Gap (GWG) has narrowed with time. Meaning, women’s wages in Canada have steadily increased with time to be closer to that of men’s, although the gap has not closed completely. A natural assumption would be that with increased wages, the pension gap would also begin to close with time, but this does not appear to be the case”.

Indeed, Canada’s GWG has narrowed over the decades and women’s labour force participation has increased. As more women work and earn an income, they are also contributing financially towards their pensions. And yet, women are receiving significantly less retirement income than their male counterparts. Although the GPG is still an under-researched topic, there are several possible explanations for why the GPG persists. As pension payouts largely depend on the financial contributions of workers, deeply seated gender norms and discriminatory practices may help explain the gap. Women are more likely to work fewer years than men over the course of their careers as they exit the labour force (either temporarily or permanently) after having children, are more likely to work part-time to juggle caregiving responsibilities, and generally earn lower wages than men (the GWG). The GPG can therefore be seen as one of the compounded impacts that the GWG has on women’s long-term economic well-being.

“The impacts of the GPG should not be dismissed. Aging in poverty is linked to food insecurity, housing insecurity, and overall poor health outcomes, including higher rates of mortality. As the world commemorated International Day of Older Persons on October 1st with the theme of “Resilience and Contributions of Older Women”, there is no better time to call attention to not only the contributions of women around the world but the need for equal pay, better social protections, and shared domestic work between men and women” states Commissioner Ward.

Quick Facts:

  • A GPG exists in Canada and has not narrowed over time. The GPG was 15% in 1976 and 18% in 2020
  • The gap for private retirement income (such as workplace and personal pensions) for seniors in Canada was 28% between men and women in 2020. This means that for every $1 of private retirement income a senior man received, a senior woman received $0.72
  • Women consistently receive more Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement than men in Canada. As payment is calculated based on age, marital status and level of income (as opposed to contributions during working years), this may signify that women are consistently receiving lower income during retirement years and therefore qualify for more government support
  • Women in Canada are at an increased risk of living in poverty in old age. The prevalence of women who are 75 years old and over and living with low-income status was 21% compared to 13.9% of men in the same age group
  • When looking at the gap through an intersectional lens, a GPG is observed in all visible minority groups, with the narrowest gap between Japanese women and Caucasian men at 24% and the widest gap between West Asian women and Caucasian men at 64%. In other words, for every $1 that a retired Caucasian man received in Canada, a retired West Asian woman in Canada received $0.36
Ontario Pay Equity Office: Canada’s Gender Wage Gap has narrowed but the Gender Pension Gap has not2023-07-06T20:42:04-05:00

The Gender Wage Gap: Explaining the Unexplained Season Two, Level the Paying Field, Launches April 2023.

In Canada, it’s taken over 20 years to close the gender wage gap by 8%, with 70% of the gap remaining unexplained. While Ontario has had the most advanced pay equity legislation globally for the past 30 years, the gender wage gap persists and from 2016 to 2021 census data, has widened as women’s employment and economic gains are sluggish in a post-COVID labour market.

Building upon the success of season one of the award-winning podcast, Level the Paying Field, season two launches April 25th. Exploring topics related to economics, equity, women, work and wage equity, in this season of Level the Paying Field, the Pay Equity Office (PEO) of Ontario convenes leading experts and renowned researchers to uncover the hidden biases that contribute to unexplained pay gaps.

“Gender bias is pervasive in our society” says Kadie Ward, Commissioner and CAO of the Pay Equity Office. “From who does what work, to parenting, to unpaid care work, we can see gender coded expectations everywhere and these create inequalities generally and in the labour market.”

Through the series, Ontario’s Pay Equity Office seeks to highlight how data and research can seed meaningful conversations around gender inequality and drive change.

“Each of our guests have experience in researching, analysing, creating and adapting policies to help address underlying stereotypes,” says Ward. “We’ve pulled this group of experts together to uncover the invisible drivers of the gender wage gap and, more importantly, shed light on how to confront and eliminate them.”

Join the Pay Equity Office in elevating the equity conversation to make the world a more equitable place for women to work, live and thrive and support closing the gender wage gap.

Watch episodes of Level the Paying Field at www.levelthepayingfield.ca or listen wherever you download your podcasts.

Quick Facts:

  • Level the Paying Field is a six-part video series and podcast series covering topics related to economics, equity, women, work and money and explore the gender wage gap.
  • In 2022 the podcast was recognized with a Gold Quill Award of Merit from the International Assocation of Business Communicators
  • Level the Paying Field ranked in the top 100 podcasts in the Careers category in Canada.
  • The gender wage gap (GWG) is the difference between wages earned by men and wages earned by women. There are different ways to measure the GWG.
  • In Ontario, the GWG calculated on the basis of average hourly wages is 13%. This means that for every $1.00 earned by a male worker, a female worker earns 87 cents. Calculated using average annual salary earnings, the GWG is 25%, or 75 cents on the dollar. The gap is even wider for Indigenous women who earn 61 cents on the dollar, and racialized women who earn 62 cents.
  • Globally, calculated on the basis of average hourly wages, the GWG remains at 18.8%, ranging from 12.6% in low-income countries to 29% in upper middle-income countries.

Also reported in:

Yahoo Finance: The Gender Wage Gap: Explaining the Unexplained Season Two, Level the Paying Field, Launches April 2023 (yahoo.com)

Benzinga: The Gender Wage Gap: Explaining the Unexplained Season Two, Level the Paying Field, Launches April 2023 – Benzinga

Yahoo Finance: The Gender Wage Gap: Explaining the Unexplained Season Two, Level the Paying Field, Launches April 2023 (yahoo.com)

Newswire, FR: L’écart salarial entre les hommes et les femmes : Saison 2 de Équité salariale : Des règles de rémunération équitables! Expliquer l’inexpliqué, débute en avril 2023 (newswire.ca)

Newswire, EN: The Gender Wage Gap: Explaining the Unexplained Season Two, Level the Paying Field, Launches April 2023 (newswire.ca)

One News Page: PR Newswire | One News Page

View the Vibe: News Provided by Cision – View the VIBE Toronto

Bayariq: cision/en (bayariq.net)

TO Times: Canada News Feed provided by Cision – Toronto Times

Canadian Insider: The Gender Wage Gap: Explaining the Unexplained Season Two, Level the Paying Field, Launches April 2023 | Canadian Insider

The Canadian Business Journal: Municipal News, The Canadian Business Journal (cbj.ca)

The Canadian Business Journal: Associations and Unions News, The Canadian Business Journal (cbj.ca)

Toronto Grand Prix Tourist: Toronto Grand Prix Tourist – A Toronto Blog: News provided by Cision – A Toronto Blog

Touki Montreal: Nouvelles fournies par Cision – Touki Montréal (toukimontreal.com)

Passion MTL: Communiqués de presse fournis par Cision * Passion MTL

Canadian Family Net: Canadian Family News ⋆ Canadian Family .net

Fifty Five Plus: News – Fifty-Five Plus Magazine (fifty-five-plus.com)

West Island News: CISION | WestIslandNews (newswire.ca)

Tolerance, EN: Tolerance.ca

Tolerance, FR: Tolerance.ca

TO Times: Canadian News Feed by Cision – Otttimes.ca

Canada Reviews, Features and Deals: PR Newswire – Canada Reviews, Features, and Deals (canadian-reviews.ca)

Masthead: About Us : Masthead Online – Headline News, Careers and Reference for the Canadian Magazine Industry

Core Magazines: Core Culture News – Core Magazines

L’annonceur: L’annonceur | Fil de nouvelles CNW (lannonceur.ca)

Trip Cast 360: TripCast360 – Global Entertainment

Daily Guardian: PR Newswire – Daily Guardian Canada

Biz Reflections: News Updates – BizReflections

Canadian Trends: PR Newswire – Trends in Canada (CA) today (canadiantrends.ca)

La Quarantenaire: Fil d’actualités Cision – La Quarantenaire

Rivers of Living Water Mission: Rivers of Living Water Mission – PR Newswire (rolwms.org)

EPIC EN: Ontario’s Pay Equity Office Released the Second Season of its Award-winning Podcast Series

EPIC FR: Le Bureau de l’équit salariale de l’ontario a lancé la deuxième saison de sa série de balados primée équité salariale

The Gender Wage Gap: Explaining the Unexplained Season Two, Level the Paying Field, Launches April 2023.2023-08-02T12:36:05-05:00

Trades are for everyone! Commissioner Ward encourages young women to get consider a career in the trades at the Skills Ontario Young Women’s Conference.

Commissioner Ward kicked off the 24th Annual Young Women’s Conference with Skills Ontario and partners to build momentum for young women in trades and tech. It is estimated that only one in ten apprentices are female and most young women dismiss the trades as a career path because of the traditional perception that trades are for men. Speaking to the full room at the Toronto Congress Centre, Commissioner Ward encouraged the grade 6 to 12 students to consider the range of opportunities and choose what is best for them. A career in the trades provides long term opportunities and secure work in a rewarding career in a range of industries.

Skills Ontario and its partners host Young Women’s Career Exploration Events at locations across Ontario that bring education, hands-on experience, and mentorship together, ultimately making the connection to successful career opportunities in the skilled trades and technology sectors.  The Skills Ontario Young Women’s Conferences are the largest young women’s conferences in Canada, attracting over 2,000 young women from across Ontario to attend.

Trades are for everyone! Commissioner Ward encourages young women to get consider a career in the trades at the Skills Ontario Young Women’s Conference.2023-06-19T20:53:17-05:00

Thanks to the Initiative of the Czech Republic, the Gender Pay Gap Reduction Became a Topic at the UN CSW 2023

The Czech Republic, together with the European Commission and Costa Rica as co-sponsors, organized a side-event at the 67th UN CSW to discuss pay transparency in the context of the digital age. Participants filled the room to its maximum to attend the event entitled “New Opportunities to Reduce the Gender Pay Gap in the Digital Age: the EU Pay Transparency Directive, National Legislation Examples, and Further Good Practices Globally”, which dealt with good practices on the national (and other) levels.

The side event was opened by a presentation of the success of the Czech presidency of the European Council. Towards the end of 2022, a consensus was reached by all trilogue parties on the new pay transparency legislation “DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL to strengthen the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms”. The new EU law will empower women to enforce the principle of equal pay for equal work through a set of binding measures on pay transparency.

The plenum was also full of representatives of very interesting initiatives to reduce gender pay gap at all levels in many countries around the world. Among the great remarks was another very inspiring good practice came from Ontario, Canada in the presentation by Ms. Kadie Ward, Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer, Pay Equity Commission of Ontario, and contributor to The Equal Pay International Coalition, ILO. Its specific added-value is based on the history of the legal provision in Ontario, its long-term nature that allows for analyses and measurement of efficiency, and its wealth of collected experience with the value of work systems.

The event was closed by a statement of consensus that a lot of good legislation has been discussed and, while it is extremely important to have strong and sound legal provisions, it all may not be enough to make a real change happen. It has to go hand in hand with education, awareness raising, and understanding the social processes that cause the problem in the first place.

UPDATE March 30, 2023

The Parliament’s plenary showed strong support of the legislation across the board by 427 votes to 79 against and 76 abstentions to adopt the pay transparency directive, including pay structures to compare pay levels will have to be based on gender-neutral criteria and include gender-neutral job evaluation and classification systems. Vacancy notices and job titles will have to be gender neutral and recruitment processes led in a non-discriminatory manner.

Here is further information, in case of your interest: Gender pay gap: Parliament adopts new rules on binding pay-transparency measures | News | European Parliament (europa.eu)

Thanks to the Initiative of the Czech Republic, the Gender Pay Gap Reduction Became a Topic at the UN CSW 20232023-06-19T21:15:44-05:00

Gender Gaps in Wages and Pensions: A Canadian analysis of how to close them

We need to continue to call to attention to the contributions of women around the world. But we also need equal pay, better social protections and shared domestic work between men and women to address the gender wage gap’s compounding effects and the persistence of the gender pension gap.

Gender Gaps in Wages and Pensions: A Canadian analysis of how to close them2023-07-06T20:42:47-05:00

Ontario’s Pay Equity Office Launches New Legal Resource

The Pay Equity Office is pleased to offer a new resource for compensation specialists, unions, legal professionals, and others who are interested in learning more about pay equity law in Ontario.

The Selected Case Reference Guide is an annotated version of the Pay Equity Act with a curated selection of relevant tribunal and court caselaw presented alongside the section of the Act that it applies to.

Each selection is presented as a short synopsis of the case’s precedent with a link to the source decision on www.CanLii.org. Readers can look up key cases either by browsing to the section of the Act you’re interested in, or by using the Case Index at the end of the Guide.

“We are pleased to offer this valuable new resource to support pay equity practitioners in their understanding of the Pay Equity Act and relevant caselaw”, said Kadie Ward, Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer of the PEO. “This guide will serve as an efficient reference tool to support employers create their pay equity plans in accordance with the Act.”

This Guide is a living document and will be updated from time to time. We welcome your feedback on the Guide – please send your comments to AskPayEquity@ontario.ca.

Ontario’s Pay Equity Office Launches New Legal Resource2023-07-06T20:42:59-05:00

​Pay Equity Solution for Small Business Do-It-Yourself Toolkit​

What if there was a way you could…

…attract and retain good talent?

…increase productivity and profitability?

…show your employees that you mean it when you say you’re committed to equity and inclusivity?

What if we told you that there is one toolkit that can help you do that?

And that it’s free of charge?

And that it can fit into your busy week?

Introducing the Pay Equity Solution for Small Business -Do-It-Yourself Toolkit, created by Ontario’s Pay Equity Office.

This toolkit will help you analyze your compensation practices and support your business while also complying with Ontario’s Pay Equity Act.​

​Pay Equity Solution for Small Business Do-It-Yourself Toolkit​2023-07-06T20:43:09-05:00
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