Private sector less appealing to women, minorities

Public sector better at narrowing pay gaps, also has strong anti-discrimination policies
By Kate McInturff
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/09/2015

The size of someone’s paycheque should notbe determined by his gender or race — yet incomes continue to vary for exactlythose reasons, and the gaps are bigger in the private sector than they are inthe public sector.

As a result, the employees most likely to seediscrimination in their wages may opt out of the private sector and seek outpublic sector jobs. An attractive package of non-wage benefits is not the onlyreason women, Aboriginal and visible minority workers are choosing publicsector jobs — the public sector also has policies in place that contribute to aless discriminatory system of pay for those workers.

The biggest wage gap exists for Aboriginal workers.In the private sector, an Aboriginal worker with a university degree (workingfull-time) will make 44 per cent less than his non-Aboriginal peers. In thepublic sector, that same university-educated Aboriginal worker sees his wagegap shrink to 14 per cent, according to a study by the Canadian Centre forPolicy Alternatives, which used data from Statistics Canada’s 2011 NationalHousehold Survey.