Wage inequality

Many people might think that in more recent years, gender inequality within the workplace has vanished and everyone is now treated as equals. This assumption is very far from the truth. Women, even today, still have to deal with much discrimination and prejudice in the working environment, especially when dealing with more “male dominated” occupations such as a contractor or an engineer. Although women’s incomes have increased at almost twice the rate of men in the last century, they are still significantly lower. Women today are often overlooked when it comes to job opportunities and job advancements. Even if they are more qualified and have a higher education than a man who is also applying for the same job, the women often gets turned down because they are believed to take more time off work due to their family and future pregnancies.

A good example of this the unfairness in wages among women and men is in a research study done about incomes in 2008. It states that women earned $30, 200, which is roughly 65% of the $46,900 that men had earned that same year. A reason for this gap is said to possibly be the fact that men work more hours than women on average.

Gendered wages in the creative and service sectors

This chart shows the differences in hours, wages and more, between men and women in the CC (Creative Class) and the SC (Service Class). As you can see, in both classes men make more than the women do and get more hours. It also shows that more women may be employed in the SC, but yet the men tend to get more hours and start off at higher wages.

Here are some facts that you may find interesting. Women aged 25 to 29 holding a graduate or professional diploma and working on a full-time, full-year basis earned 96 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts in 2005. Women with a bachelor’s degree earned 89 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. Women with a registered apprenticeship or trades certificate earned only 65 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. Young women with no high school diploma earned 67 cents for every dollar earned by young men with the same level of education. Source


Average earnings in constant dollars of 2009

               by women and men 2000-2009

Year Women Men Earnings as %
2000 27,500 44,600 61.7
2001 27,600 44,500 62.1
2002 28,000 44,500 62.8
2003 27,600 43,900 62.9
2004 28,000 44,100 63.5
2005 28,700 44,800 64.0
2006 29,100 44,900 64.7
2007 29,900 45,600 65.7
2008 30,300 47,000 64.5
2009 31,100 45,200 68.8
Note: Data before 1996 are drawn from Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) and data since 1996 are taken from the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID). The surveys use different definitions, and as a result the number of people working full-year full-time in the SLID is smaller than in the SCF.
Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table (for fee) 202-0102.

– Melanie Chafe

For more information, you can take a look at these business websites which include charts and tables that are very informative.

Canadian Labour Relations – Our business is helping your business:


The Martin Prosperity Institute:



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