Much work to be done on pay equity (Guest commentary)

Discriminatory pay affects women throughout their lives, costing each woman between $700,000 to $2 million US
By Mary Cornish
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/14/2008

On Jan. 1, Ontario’s Pay Equity Act turned 20 years old. While it has helped reduce the gender gap from 38 per cent in 1985, women still earn 29 per cent less than men, according to Statistics Canada.

The Equal Pay Coalition has launched a 20th anniversary campaign to mobilize employers and governments to carry out their responsibilities to close this gap and end the widespread pay discrimination women continue to face. We owe it to our daughters, mothers and grandmothers to revitalize and strengthen pay equity enforcement. We need to deliver pay justice to the current generation of working women and guarantee it for future generations.

Ontario women receive less for their work regardless of where they work, the size of their workplace or the precariousness of their work. The most vulnerable women — Aboriginals, minorities, immigrants and non-unionized workers — face an even greater wage gap. Minority women earn 36 per cent less than men and Aboriginal women earn 54 per cent less.