Pay equity problem persists in Canadian workplaces: survey

Canadian men earn an average annual salary of $66,504, 25 per cent more than the reported average of $49,721 for women, according to a new survey by Leger Research.

It found the gap widens when additional compensation, such as bonuses and profit-sharing plans, are factored in. In this case, annual earnings averaged $5,823 for men and $3,912 for women, making for a 32.8 per cent difference.

How men and women perceive an employer’s practices around pay equity also differed, according to the survey. Some 80 per cent of men said they believe everyone is compensated equally within the workplace, while 62 per cent of women said the same.

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The survey also found employees are continuing to encourage employers to reach pay parity. Almost half (45 per cent) of respondents said they’d leave their current employer if they discovered a colleague of equal standing received preferential compensation based on their gender. That number rose to 52 per cent among millennial respondents.

“It’s alarming to see in 2019 there remains an impactful difference in compensation for Canadian men and women,” said Sooky Lee, general manager of human resources outsourcing at the study’s sponsor ADP Canada, in a press release. “With women comprising nearly half of today’s workforce and thriving in roles and responsibilities that match their male peers, organizations — and executive teams — that don’t make pay equity a corporate priority risk losing the ability to attract top talent.”

Only 31 per cent of executives surveyed indicated pay equity is a priority for them. Managers were the group most likely (72 per cent) to say pay equity is a priority in their organization.

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