For decades women have been advocating to be seen, treated and paid as equal to men. Gender discrimination has been made norm in our society because most of the lawmakers and people in high places are normally men. In Canada, there is a difference in opinion of what men and women think in regard to this ongoing issue. I agree that women are still underpaid, and they should be paid equally if their jobs are of comparable worth which requires similar levels of skill, effort, and responsibility and similar working conditions—that are held mainly by men.
According to Treiman et al. pg. 2, For many women, the slogan “equal pay for work of equal value” has replaced the slogan “equal pay for equal work,” which is embodied in the Equal Pay Act of 1963. More generally, the issue raised is that of pay equity in a labour market that is highly segregated by sex. While the opportunity to move out of segregated job categories may be welcome to many women, many others, who have invested considerable time in training for their jobs, demand wage adjustment in “women’s jobs” rather than opportunities to work in other jobs. This is a topic that makes sense, why should a woman spend the same time and effort to train for a job that her male counterpart is automatically paid higher than her? This is not equality and a breach to employment standards.
This issue sets the ground for discrimination based on sex. The laws that cover employment discrimination addresses the issue of equal pay for men and women doing equal work. The act describes equal work as that requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility is performed under similar working conditions. Even though it is reported that women are getting less paid than men we have to explore some possible factors under which this may be allowed. Jobs which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system (ii) a merit system (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex. In these instances, it it fair for either sex to be paid higher given the above situations.
Even though employment standards in Canada prohibits gender inequality, the table above still shows major gaps between men and women depending on their race. Possible solutions to address this issue would be a model adopted by the European Union (EU):
- Government inference which companies has to make data public
- Enforce paternity leaves so men can get more involved with their families and set grounds for equality
- Subsidize childcare, employers put in place a free part-time nursery
- Mentorship program where women can learn how to negotiate their salaries,
- Transparency in salary- let everyone know what their colleagues are earning
- Promoting female entrepreneurship by providing skills development and train to improve women market access and encourage their business to grow and become more stable.