B.C.'s parliamentary secretary for gender equity, Grace Lore, has issued a statement on International Equal Pay Day (September 18) to draw attention to inequities in compensation for employment. You can read what she said below.
“Today, we join the Government of Canada, the United Nations and other organizations worldwide in recognizing Equal Pay Day.
“All workers deserve fair pay—and yet the gendered pay gap persists with women across Canada earning, on average, 11 percent less than men.
“And we know this gap is not just about gender. Indigenous and Black women, women of colour, immigrant women, Two-Spirit people, nonbinary and transgender people, and those with disabilities, face even greater wage gaps and inequities in opportunities for economic independence.
“For example, in Canada, for every dollar a man makes, Indigenous women make an average of 65 cents, racialized women make an average of 67 cents, and newcomer women make an average of 71 cents.
“The root causes of pay inequity also persist. Work traditionally associated with women continues to be undervalued. Women in British Columbia have faced additional expectations around unpaid work and caregiving, which can lead to a drop in income and affects workforce participation. Women and gender-diverse people still too often experience sexual harassment – another barrier to advancement in work and pay."
“We know the gender-pay gap has important impacts on the lives of women and gender-diverse people in our province. It is for this reason we are working toward introducing pay-transparency legislation.
“This summer, we met with a cross-section of representatives from the private and public sectors, labour unions, non-profit organizations, equity-seeking organizations and legal advocacy groups. Indigenous leadership and representatives are also being consulted through this process.
“We know that addressing the pay gap is not something legislation alone can fix. That is why we have also been advancing investments in child care, so no one has to choose between their career and their family, along with housing for women and children fleeing violence, raising B.C.’s minimum wage, eliminating the discriminatory liquor-server wages, investments in employment and skills training, upskilling and micro credentialing.
“Fair pay makes our families and communities stronger, better equipped for the future, and helps to support and retain the next generation of workers.
“We know there is more to do. We also know we are not alone in our efforts. Many people in B.C, employers and organizations agree we need to keep moving forward to build a stronger B.C for everyone.”