Tuesday, April 10 is Equal Pay Day in Ontario. That means that compared to what men earned last year, women have had to work until this day in the new year to match that amount. Women who are racialized, disabled, or migrant will have to work until May or June. That’s unacceptable to me, and to the Ontario NDP. We can and must do more to address this problem that’s bad for women, for families, and for our economy.
Gender Equity in EML
The gender wage gap is as stark in Elgin - Middlesex - London as it as across the province. In 2015, the median after-tax income for women in this riding was only 70% of that of men. Province-wide, that figure is 74%. Even women working full-time for the full year earned just a little over 80% of what their male counterparts did in EML
By the numbers, the best place in EML to be a working woman is Dutton Dunwich, where females working full time for the full year earn, on average, 92% of what men do. The largest overall income gaps exist in Bayham and Aylmer, while the largest gap for women working full time for the full year was in Southwold.
The gender wage gap is real.
We know that qualified, experienced women are still less likely to be offered promotions and raises than men. They’re less likely to be in management positions. They’re less able to move up the corporate ladder.
Those issues of bias are compounded by women often being the primary caregiver to children and other family members. Women are less likely to be able to take overtime and extra shifts when they’re offered, and more likely to miss days because someone else in the home needs care.
The last Conservative government drastically cut funding to the Pay Equity Office that was supposed to be addressing this issue. The Liberal government flatlined it, and waited fifteen years then put forward a half-measure. Only the NDP has been strongly and consistently committed to pay equity in Ontario.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath stated earlier this year, “It’s time for changes that include funding the Pay Equity Commission, ensuring more women in the public service move into leadership roles, and immediately implementing the Equal Pay Coalition’s 12 recommendations to close the gender pay gap.”