Recognizing the value of equal pay for all workers in Canada

September 18, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

In honour of International Equal Pay Day, Lori Straznicky, Federal Pay Equity Commissioner, issues the following statement:

Today, on International Equal Pay Day, we join countries around the world in challenging employers to champion every woman’s right to equal pay for work of equal value.

Pay equity is an internationally recognized human right. Yet, the work done by women in Canada continues to be undervalued and women continue to be underpaid. On average, women in Canada earn $0.87 for every dollar earned by a man.

By not recognizing that different types of work contribute equal value to an organization, many jobs traditionally held by women are compensated with lower pay than those traditionally held by men. This is putting women in a position of even greater disadvantage. This is especially true for women with disabilities, newcomer women, racialized and Indigenous women and those who belong to LGBTQ2SI+ community.

As Canada moves towards correcting the gender wage gap, federally regulated employers will lead the way in making pay equity a reality for women in Canada. Federally regulated workplaces have a legal obligation to comply with the Pay Equity Act.

Whether a company has 10 employees or 10,000, it is time for them to do the work.

Closing the gender wage gap is crucial to advancing gender equality, building more inclusive and equitable workplaces, and essential to Canada’s economic recovery and prosperity. When women thrive, everyone thrives. The time for action is now.

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