Eighty years post WW 2 and 70 years since Canada first passed the equal pay legislation, why does the power ratio of men to women still exist in the top levels of the modern day workplace? The Globe and Mail did a two- and half-year study assessing why men still significantly outrank and out-earn women even though women are almost half the work force and now outnumber men as university graduates.
Robyn Doolittle and Chen Wang researched the public sector salary data showing that men outrank women at mid- to the very top-level positions identifying that this is dramatically apparent in high-paying jobs. With almost two hundred organisations reviewed, the findings indicate that men outnumber women 84 per cent and out-earn them 68 per cent of the time. Only 10 percent of executive teams have women and men equally represented demonstrating that women are still lagging generations behind men overall. And, out of the 1,059 top earners studied, only 3 per cent are racialized women. The authors called the overall problem a leaky pipeline as most women are topping out at the mid-management level. Why don’t women advance?
Woman are still viewed, from the private to public sectors, as not being as knowledgeable or capable as men. This repression of women by the dominant culture keeps women from succeeding. And, this year, it’s becoming more obvious as women are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. More women have had to leave the work force due to the fact that they are in auxiliary and lower income jobs which had to be cut. RBC has reported that almost 100,000 Canadian women have completely left their employment compared to 10,000 men. And, between February and October 2020, CBC stated that out of 20,000 women who left the workforce, 60,000 men joined it. In addition, many women had to leave their employment because they still carry the major responsibility for child care. This puts women in a far more disadvantaged position than they were pre-COVID-19. In addition, returning to employment may be difficult for them and result in lower wages due to the lack of continuity in the work place.
These stats highlight why it is even more important that women help all women succeed — that we celebrate inclusivity and the creativity it brings — with attention and intention we can imagine our future differently to the benefit of all.