Ontario Working to Close Gender Wage Gap

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Ontario Working to Close Gender Wage Gap

Ontario is continuing its work to close the gender wage gap and support higher participation for women in the workforce by establishing a working group to help guide the province’s action plan to close the wage gap.

Today, on the 30th anniversary of the introduction of Ontario’s Pay Equity Act, Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn announced the new working group, including 14 organizations and two community members representing business, labour human resources and women’s advocacy. The group will provide advice and feedback on how government can address specific issues and initiatives identified in the Gender Wage Gap Final Report, including:

  • Shared parental leaves
  • A gender workplace analysis tool
  • A social awareness strategy to help understand the effects of gender bias, the gender wage gap and the importance of closing the gap
  • Reviewing pay equity legislation

Closing the gender wage gap and providing women with equal opportunity in the workforce will bring significant economic benefits, including boosting the Ontario’s GDP, increasing personal incomes across the province and boosting performance and competitiveness for local businesses.

“Despite our participation throughout the workforce, barriers remain that prevent women and our economy from reaching full potential. The creation of this working group continues the important work of the Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee and enhances the government’s commitment to support women’s economic empowerment in Ontario.” — Tracy MacCharles, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues

This panel is part of Ontario’s ongoing work to close the gender wage gap and improve the lives of women and families, which also includes creating 100,000 new licensed child care spaces, ensuring women make up at least 40 per cent of all appointments to provincial boards and agencies by 2019, and making workplaces, campuses and communities safer through the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan.

Supporting women in the workforce is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.


  • According to Deloitte’s 2016 analysis, closing the wage gap could boost Ontario’s GDP by 7.9 per cent or more, and increase revenues from personal and sales tax by $2.6 billion.
  • The Royal Bank of Canada (2005) estimated that personal incomes in Canada would increase by $168 billion annually if women had the same labour force opportunities as men.
  • TD Economics (2010) found that retaining women workers and improving their economic outcomes is important for businesses’ competitiveness, as women are a critical human resource for filling future labour shortages. Raising women’s participation in paid work by just 1 per cent could add 115,000 workers to Canada’s workforce.
  • Research shows that workplaces that establish gender equity are more likely to have a competitive advantage in attracting highly skilled workers, reduce the cost of employee turnover and demonstrate better organizational and financial performance.
  • The gender wage gap working group will meet regularly over the next 12 months.
  • Based on the most recent Statistics Canada data, Ontario’s gender wage gap ranges from 14-26 per cent.

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