In Canada, Equal Pay Day is April 12. It symbolizes how far into the current year the average woman must work to earn what the average man earned in the previous year.
BC has one of the highest gender pay gaps in Canada. The gap is much worse for women and gender-diverse people who are Indigenous, racialized, migrant, disabled, older or are caregivers.
- Racialized women working full-time earn 33% less than white men, earning 67 to the dollar.
- Disabled women working full and part time earn 46% less than able bodied men, earning 54 cents to the dollar.
- Racialized migrant women earn 79 cents for every dollar that a white migrant woman earns.
- Research suggests there is likely a large pay gap facing trans people.
The gender pay gap is even wider in feminized job sectors that are historically and socially undervalued as “women’s work”. This includes jobs like caregiving, childcare, education, nursing, services, and sales—all jobs the pandemic has shown us are valuable and important.
Unequal pay impacts women, gender-diverse people, and their families for generations. It’s a persisting and enduring source of gender inequity that worsens poverty and the damaging economic impacts of the pandemic.
At West Coast LEAF, we have long called for BC to implement pay transparency and pay equity legislation—to both reveal and eliminate pay discrimination.
The BC government recently announced that it’s going to begin working on pay transparency legislation. The province says it wants to hear from a variety of groups and individuals. Any law addressing pay inequity needs to be intersectional and tackle the gender and race gap that Indigenous and racialized people face.
Pay transparency and pay equity legislation can make a difference:
- Unequal pay persists because differences in pay are hidden. Pay transparency can give us the information we need to identify, pay discrimination and address pay gaps.
- Pay equity legislation can require employers to proactively address the systemic undervaluing of women and gender-diverse peoples’ work.
But pay equity and transparency cannot stand alone. Achieving equality in pay requires urgent action to strengthen childcare, parental leave, fair wages, and working conditions to improve economic outcomes for women and gender-diverse people.
Join us in calling for economic justice for women and gender-diverse people on Equal Pay Day.
Download and share our Equal Pay Day toolkit
What is Equal Pay Day
On April 12, Equal Pay Day, we’re calling for economic justice and equality for women and gender-diverse people. Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into the year the average woman must work to earn what the average man has earned the entire previous year.
Unequal pay impacts generations
Unequal pay impacts women and gender-diverse people and their families across generations. It’s a persisting source of gender inequity that worsens poverty and the damaging economic impact of the pandemic.
Pay equity cannot stand alone
Pay equity cannot stand alone. It needs to include urgent action to strengthen childcare, parental leave, fair wages, and work conditions to improve economic outcomes for women and gender-diverse people
It’s time for pay transparency and equity legislation
Pay equity laws must be intersectional
On Equal Pay Day, April 12, we’re calling for economic justice for women and gender-diverse people. Any law addressing pay inequity needs to be intersectional and tackle the gender and race gap that Indigenous and racialized people face.