Ontario seeks to close gender wage gap

MOL to hold public consultations this fall

Ontario’s labour ministry is looking for ways to close the gender wage gap.

On Oct. 8, the provincial government announced it would be hosting public consultations in order to develop a strategy to close the pay gap between men and women.

As part of its mandate, the Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee (appointed by labour minister Kevin Flynn in April) will examine how the roles of women are affected by the gender wage gap and seek to understand how the disparity affects working women across the economic spectrum. It will also assess ways government, business and labour groups can address systemic barriers to close the gap.

According to Statistics Canada, Ontario’s wage gap ranges from 12 per cent to 31.5 per cent, with the biggest disparities felt by Aboriginal women and women of colour. Personal incomes would be $168 billion higher each year if Canadian women had the same labour market opportunities as men, the Ministry of Labour said.

“While women participate in all parts of the workforce, there are still barriers that prevent women from achieving their economic potential. That negatively affects Ontario’s prosperity,” said Tracy MacCharles, the province’s minister of women’s issues. “Our government recognizes that when we are all treated equitably, we all benefit. That’s why we are taking action today for a more equal and economically sound Ontario.”

Those wishing to provide input can attend one of the public town halls or email the ministry at [email protected].

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