Throughout the history of the world, discrimination in all forms has been a constant battle; whether its race, gender, religion, beliefs, appearance or anything else that makes one person different from another, it’s happening every day. One significant discrimination problem the world population is battling, takes place in the work place. Minorities such as women, African Americans, Hispanics, aboriginals and the likes, face a high degree of discrimination in the work place which reflects in their remuneration for their services; mostly because it is popular believe that these minorities are under qualified and hence shouldn’t earn the same as the majority. However, as long as the same effort and hours are being put in at work, all human beings be they white, black, or any other race or gender deserve to earn the same compensation for work. The most common form of discrimination being that women; who are as equally trained and educated, and with the same experience as men are not getting equal pay. The term equal pay states that pay should be based on the kind and quality of work done and not according to the age, race, sex, religion, political association, ethnic origin, or any other individual or group characteristic unrelated to ability, performance, and qualification. Although the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), states that women and men should receive equal pay for performing substantially the same job; (meaning that women are entitled to receive equal pay for “equal work,” which is work that is substantially the same, requiring the same skill, effort and responsibility and performed under similar working conditions in the same establishment) this is yet to be seen in all establishments as some women with the same or better understanding of a particular work still get paid less than the men doing that same work in that company.
The issue of the past has now become an evident problem in our modern-day society. Women nowadays have opportunities that were not obtainable in past decades but must overcome, or in most cases overlook, the barrier of being punished in the long run for simply being a woman; “gender differences in starting salaries are a significant contributor to long-term earning differentials between men and women”. An article titled, Equal Work for Equal Pay: Not Even College Helps Women, was written by Korva Coleman; who claims that women are worth less than men when entering the workforce after completing a college degree. Throughout the article, Coleman supports her claim using different studies’ results that “show when men and women attend the same kind of college, pick the same major and accept the same kind of job, on average, the woman will still earn 82 cents to every dollar that a man earns” (Coleman). The article also states that although women tend to pick work with a lower pay men are still paid more regardless. Starting from the top some CEO’S think that men are on relatively higher than women that’s why they tend to increase a man’s pay compared to a woman’s pay. This can’t be solved by single female trying to solve the problem maturely and having negotiations with her employer as it will ultimately make the problem worse by making her been looked down on socially and there is no guarantee that her employer would increase her pay, he might even reduce it.
Multiple research done in Canada like that on Oxfam states that a woman in Canada today has to work until she’s 79 years old to make the same amount of money for retirement as a man who retired at 65. Oxfam also states that gender inequality does not happen by accident,” Oxfam said. “It is rooted in long established norms, attitudes and beliefs, and it can be exacerbated by laws, policies and government spending. Government action can, however, act to reduce inequality between men and women at work. It’s been 55 years since equal pay has been the law and yet today women with equal education, equal experience and equal or more skills are still being paid less than men. While people believe women shouldn’t earn the same because they aren’t as qualified due to distractions like; raising a family, which shift their focus, anyone with the same qualifications who put in equal amount of work as anyone else be they white, black, or of any race should be paid the same.
There are some reasons why women are likely to be paid less in Canada like Discrimination / Employer Bias; an outdated belief states that what a woman can do a man can do better and sadly even with all our advancements that belief still lingers in some of our minds therefore making women be discriminated and be awarded less pay. There are some negative, deeply rooted stereotypes about women’s abilities and opportunities are at the root of gender discrimination, perpetuating societal issues like pay disparity, occupational segregation and fewer leadership opportunities. Another one of these reasons is Negotiation; studies have shown that women are less likely to negotiate for equal pay. In a way it’s a lack of confidence or guidance as some people think that it’s an art of asking the right way but researches like that of Harvard business review states that the problem may have more to do with how women are treated when they negotiate, rather than their general confidence or skills at negotiation, a phenomenon that has been dubbed the “social cost” of negotiation. For example, a woman may be more hesitant to negotiate an equal or higher their pay than a man because advocating for higher pay could present a socially awkward or difficult situation. But that hesitation could be costly: A study done in 2008 found that failing to negotiate a first salary could result in a $500,000 loss by age 60. Another reason for this is The Motherhood Penalty; it’s been shown in numerous researches that most mothers suffer workplace related consequences after having a child. Equated with men and childless women, new moms are often perceived to have lower competence and commitment, and they face higher professional expectations and a lower chance of hiring, promotion or equal pay. Studies have also shown that the pay between mothers and women who aren’t mothers could be bugger then the pay between men and women. According to Harvard business review there’s an opportunity cost of staying at home discussing about mothers who take time off when their child is born. According to Harvard time out in the labour force is a penalty. About 39% of mothers say they have taken “significant” time off work after having a child—a decision that usually results in those mothers earning an average of 7% less per child compared to childless women. One sociology professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst found that the penalty can actually reach up to 15% per child among low-wage workers. As for men, the opposite is true. New fathers typically see an earning bump after their child is born. Another cause of the gender pay gap is the education disparity between men and women, as well as women typically being overrepresented in lower-paying fields. Studies show that women continue to dominate lower-paying industries. Women are more likely to work in the service industry, as caregivers and with children…and none of these jobs are all that lucrative. Women are therefore disproportionally represented in industries where financial reward is low. Another reason is the types of jobs that people do. Jobs that are heavily female, such as cashiers and daycare workers, tend to be lower paid than many jobs that skew heavily male, such as truck drivers or construction workers. It is also seen that non-equal pay affects Canada’s economy as well. A 2005 report by RBC Financial Group argues persuasively that continued strong economic performance in this country will require a focus on diversity, and recommends some actions to recognize and promote talented employees of all backgrounds.
The population and the workforce in Canada is noticeably becoming more racially and culturally diverse since the earlier years. We see more of women joining the workforce, a lot of young aboriginal people are entering the workforce and also people with disabilities, claiming their right to participate fully in employment; all of who are not lesser human beings, who work the same hours so therefore deserve the same compensation regardless of their race, gender or physical disabilities. Minus exceptions like seniority, merit or a system of quantity over quality women and men should be paid equally.
Although we can see that the country is working to bring equal pay to reality as Ontario has passed the legislation to create fair workplaces and better jobs one of the fair work places and better jobs act which is to beginning in 1st of January 2018 states that Mandate equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal employees doing the same job as full-time employees; and equal pay for temporary help agency employees doing the same job as employees at the agencies’ client companies. But there is still much work to be done to see that all companies and organizations follow this act.