Women in the Capital Regional District (CRD) continue to earn less than men. The gap is even larger for visible minority women and women with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Women annually earn between 30 and 85 cents for each dollar a white man earns. The gender pay gap is a widely recognized indicator of gender inequities that exists across industries and professional levels. Even with recent progress, there is still much work to be done to eliminate gender-based pay inequality.
At the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria (CSPC), we believe that achieving gender equity is essential for building a fair and just society. As we celebrate International Women's Day in 2023, with a theme of "Digital: Innovation and technology for gender equality," we recognize the crucial role that technological tools can play in promoting gender equality and closing the gender pay gap in the CRD.
The United Nations has identified digital innovation and technology as key drivers of gender equality and economic empowerment for women. With the increasing use of digital platforms and tools, organizations have the opportunity to increase transparency and accountability in pay practices and ensure that all employees receive fair compensation for their work.
To achieve gender equality and eliminate the gender pay gap in the CRD, we must encourage employers to conduct pay audits and increase transparency in pay practices. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business provides exercises to conduct an internal audit, which can be adapted to other jurisdictions. Conducting pay audits can help identify and address pay disparities within organizations.
Supporting flexible work requirements is another way to promote gender equality in the workforce. Women are often forced to choose between work, childcare, and other family commitments. A flexible schedule that eases in-office requirements can help working mothers balance work and family responsibilities.
Publishing wage/salary information in job postings is also an effective way to eliminate the gender pay gap. Providing salaries up front keeps unintentional bias from creeping into the hiring process and provides transparency for applicants. Publishing a range also allows room to negotiate based on education and experience while ensuring candidates have equal starting places.
Writing to your MLA and encouraging them to pass provincial legislation that outlines protections, processes, and remedies that require all BC employers to provide equal pay and to make the minimum wage a living wage can also help to close the gender pay gap. Universal childcare is also seen as a key way to eliminate the gender pay gap, as it can help women balance work and family commitments and increase their participation in the workforce.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a roadmap for achieving gender equality and closing the gender pay gap by 2030. SDG 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, while SDG 8 calls for decent work and economic growth. By implementing policies and practices that align with these SDGs, we can create a society that values and promotes gender equity.
In conclusion, on this International Women's Day, let us renew our commitment to achieving gender equity and closing the gender pay gap in the CRD. By leveraging digital innovation and technology, implementing policies that align with the SDGs, conducting pay audits, supporting flexible work requirements, publishing wage/salary information in job postings, and advocating for fair and transparent pay practices, we can work to close the gender pay gap. Join us in advocating for policies and practices that promote pay equity and gender equality in our community.
Women’s Day 2023 – The Gender Wage Gap in the CRD is the most recent iteration in a series of data releases from the UWSVI and CSPC collaboration Happiness and Wellbeing Community Lab. The data provides additional information and statistics on the gender pay gap and highlights key strategies and policies that can help to achieve gender equity in the workplace. We invite you to share this resource with your colleagues, friends, and family to help raise awareness and encourage action on this important issue. Together, we can build a fair and just society where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.
Published: March 8, 2023
Teena Santiago, Development Coordinator