Ontario Moving Forward to Close the Gender Wage Gap
The Ontario government has released the final report from the Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee and will immediately start work on a plan to close the gap, create equal opportunities for prosperity and strengthen the economy by eliminating barriers that prevent women’s full participation in the workforce.
As a first step toward closing the gender wage gap, Ontario is moving forward with recommendations by:
- Increasing income transparency in the Ontario Public Service by making salary data publicly available by gender
- Requiring gender-based analysis in the government policy process
- Appointing an Associate Minister of Education, Responsible for Early Years and Child Care to build a system of affordable, accessible and high-quality early years and child care programs
- Providing employers with resources including training materials on anti-discrimination and developing other education products for employees
Many recommendations in the Steering Committee’s report also propose further consultation and review to inform the development of a practical, effective cross-government strategy to close the gender wage gap in Ontario. Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues Tracy MacCharles will bring together business, labour, human resources professionals and equality advocates as part of a facilitated working group to discuss these issues and provide advice.
“Despite our participation in all parts of the workforce, there are still barriers that prevent women from achieving their economic potential. That negatively affects Ontario’s prosperity. When we are all treated equitably, we all benefit. I am pleased to receive these recommendations and look forward to continuing to work with our partners to develop a strategy that moves our province toward a more fair society.” — Tracy MacCharles, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues
Ontario’s Gender Wage Gap Strategy will build on progress the government is already making to support broader gender equality in the province, including introducing new targets to ensure more women have the opportunity to reach top leadership positions in the workforce and increasing wages in female-dominated professions in the broader public sector.
Closing the wage gap between men and women is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- Based on the most recent Statistics Canada data, Ontario’s gender wage gap ranges from 14-26 per cent.
- The gap is more pronounced for Indigenous and racialized women and those with disabilities.
- Elimination of the gap could significantly improve the province’s economy.
- Royal Bank of Canada estimates that personal incomes would be $168 billion higher each year if women in Canada had the same labour market opportunities as men.
- The Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee held public and stakeholder meetings across the province from October 26, 2015 to February 29, 2016: 530 people attended public town hall sessions, 1,430 participated through an online survey and 170 stakeholders participated through meetings or written submissions.