"Mind the Gap" - Government and industry must fix the gender wage gap, says HRPA

TORONTO, April 12, 2016 /CNW/ - The Human Resources Professionals Association ("HRPA") released a white paper today, which called on government and businesses to address the gender wage gap in Ontario.  The paper, Closing the Gender Wage Gap, a Review and Recommendations looks at multiple factors, often the result of unconscious biases, that are associated with the gender wage gap at various stages of a woman's life, from childhood education to the workplace.

"Research shows that at an early age many young women may segregate themselves from higher paid careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or the 'STEM' fields, in part because of 'stereotype threats,'  said Bill Greenhalgh, CEO of the HRPA. "This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed by government and the private sector."

Women in Ontario are highly educated, making up the majority of university degree holders, however, only 39% of STEM university graduates aged 25-34 are women1.   "The best steps to encourage more young women to pursue employment in male dominated jobs are a combination of improved labour market research, improved career guidance, and promotion of sectors targeted towards young women," said Greenhalgh.

The report makes 20 recommendations in total, including:

  • Expand government training on pay equity issues and solutions—similar to the mandatory Supervisor Awareness Training the Ministry of Labour requires for the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Develop a pilot program to combat negative stereotypes by exposing young women to positive female role models from the STEM sectors.
  • Implement provincial labour market research to project demand for skills both in the near and distant futures.

The report argues that by taking these concrete steps, real progress can be made towards closing the wage gap between men and women.

The full report can be found here: www.hrpa.ca/2016Payequityreport

About the Gender Wage Gap
The gender wage gap is the difference between the income earned by women and by men.  It can be calculated in many different ways, however, the most recent data from Statistics Canada estimates the gap to be anywhere between 12 per cent to 31.5 per cent.2

About the HRPA
The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) is the professional regulatory body and the professional association for Human Resources professionals in Ontario, Canada. It oversees more than 21,000 members in 28 chapters across the province. It connects members with an unmatched range of HR information resources, events, professional development and networking opportunities and annually hosts Canada's largest HR conference. In Ontario, HRPA issues three levels of professional certification: the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation for practitioners entering the profession and working in administrative capacities; the Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL), for practitioners working in fully professional capacities; and the Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE), for senior executives.

1 Statistics Canada (February 18, 2015). International Women's Day… by the numbers. Accessed at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/dai/smr08/2015/smr08_197_2015#a4

2 Ontario Ministry of Labour. (October 2015). Closing the Gender Wage Gap: A Background Paper. Accessed at: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/about/pdf/gwg_background.pdf

SOURCE Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario

For further information: Duff McCutcheon, Communications Specialist, HRPA, Tel: 416.923.2324 x 324, dmccutcheon@hrpa.ca


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Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario

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