Price of inaction

Ontario's gender pay gap growing
April 15, 2014

TORONTO – The pay gap between men and women in Ontario is getting worse and will continue to do so without government involvement, says a Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) report released to recognize Ontario’s first officially declared Equal Pay Day April 16.

 A Growing Concern: Ontario’s Gender Pay Gap, written by CCPA Research Associate Mary Cornish, a human rights and labour law expert, finds Ontario’s gender pay gap got worse between 2010 and 2011 (the last year of available data).

 “A couple of years into Ontario’s economic recovery from a global recession, the gap between men and women worsened,” says Cornish. “The gap grew from 28 per cent to 31.5 per cent in one year’s time. Women are clearly paying the price of inaction.”

 Among the report’s key findings:

  • Based on average annual earnings of Ontario men and women, the Ontario gender pay gap in 2010 was 28% – on average, women made 72 cents for every man’s dollar.   
  • In 2011, the gap grew to  31.5% –women made 68.5 cents for every man’s dollar.
  • In dollar terms: men's average annual earnings increased by $200 – from $48,800 in 2010 to $49,000 in 2011 – but women's average earnings decreased by $1,400 – from $35,000 in 2010 to $33,600 in 2011.
  • Ontario’s Equal Pay Day landed on April 9, 2013. Ontario’s Equal Pay Day this year comes on April 16, 2014 – one week later than last year, to recognize the longer time women need to work into the new year to make what men earned.
  • The report outlines a 10-step blueprint to not only close the gender gap in Ontario, but to become a leading force in a more equal labour market.

“These gender gap findings tell us why the Equal Pay Coalition-Ontario has been calling on the government to commit to a dedicated Equal Pay Day in this province and we’re relieved the government has made the first step on this front,” says CCPA-Ontario Director Trish Hennessy. “Now that the province has recognized today as Equal Pay Day, the fruitful work of committing to policy measures to close the gender pay gap begins.”

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 For more information please contact: Jennifer Story, CCPA-Ontario: (647) 966-6310 or jennifer@policyaltnernatives.ca. Download the report: policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/growing-concern

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