Equal Pay Day

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BPW International continues to support “Equal Pay Day” for women around the world and encourages member countries to hold an “Equal Pay Day”. BPW Germany and BPW Australia have held a national day to recognize the wage gap. The gender pay gap represents the difference between the average hourly pay for women and men before taxes across the economy as a whole.

It reflects ongoing discrimination and inequality in the labour market, which mainly affects women. International President Freda Miriklis encourages all affiliates to start a campaign of awareness and lobbying to close the still existing pay gap between men and women.

Equal pay for work of equal value’ is at the heart of the campaign to raise awareness of the pay gap, its causes, and what to do about it.

BPW Canada on Equal Pay

Getting paid less because you’re not related to the boss isn’t fair. Neither is getting paid less because of your gender, your race or your age. The labour movement has been relentless on this issue and continues to negotiate forcefully with employers and lobby governments to deal with pay discrimination, low wages and barriers that stop people from working to their potential (like supports for people with disabilities and access to affordable child care for new parents).

Until the 1950s, men and women working side by side, doing exactly the same job were paid different wages. This was no secret. “Help Wanted” ads actually listed “mens rates” and “women’s rates”.

Why did this change? Because women and unions fought for changes to labour standards legislation to make it illegal. Since the 50s employers must pay men and women equal pay for doing the same job. Good laws work. You can learn more about equal pay for women here.

Did you know that in 2011, women in Canada earned 72% of what men got paid for the same amount of work? The gender wage gap is even wider for women who are older, Aboriginal, racialized or living with disabilities. Thanks to the labour movement, this pay gap is already much less for women with unions, but income equality for all working women is the ultimate goal.

What the labour movement is doing to support equal pay!

The gap between women’s and men’s wages narrows. Unionized women working full-time earn 95% as much per hour as their male co-workers. Part-time women in unions earn even more.  Pay discrimination in workplaces can be successfully challenged, leading to higher wages and clear processes to make sure jobs traditionally held by women are fairly compensated…. Read more from Canadian Labor Congress…

The Labour movement pushes for proactive pay equity legislation, which is making a difference for all women working in Ontario and Quebec. Now we need to work together to narrow the gender wage gap for all workers in Canada.

BPW Calgary Equal Pay Day Rally

On March 18, 2013, BPW Calgary members, partners and supporters gathered to mark Equal Pay Day near the “Women are Persons” monument in the Olympic Plaza.