A number is never just a number: Canada's gender pay gap

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Percentage, on average, that women earn less than men in Canada. That means that on average, a woman makes only 68 cents for every dollar a man makes. It varies by province. For instance, in Ontario it's 28 per cent. (Source)


Number of additional years that a Canadian woman would have to work at no pay in order to earn the same pay a man earns by age 65, at the current rate of progress. It varies by province. In Ontario, that number would be 13 extra years. (Source)


Percentage of university undergraduate students in Canada who were women in 2008. Even though women are more likely than men to go to university or college, they don't necessarily end up getting paid better once they're in the workforce. (Source)



The number of additional dollars men working full-time, year-round in Canada between the ages of 35 to 44 made, on average, compared to women in 2008. (Source: Statistics Canada Report "Economic Well-being" Cara Williams (2010) at page 14)

7 out of 10

Number of part-time workers in Canada who are women. Women are more likely to hold multiple part-time jobs. (Source: Statistics Canada Report "Paid Work" by Vincent Ferrao (2010) at page 13)


Percentage of minimum wage workers in Canada who are women. In many households today, it takes two income earners to make it. (Source: Perspectives on Labour and Income, 2009 LFS data [Canada])


Percentage less that Canadian women with children earn than women without children. (Source: Statistics Canada Report "Economic Well-being" Cara Williams (2010) at page 17)


Percentage of women in Canada who worked in traditional occupations such as teaching, nursing, clerical, admin or sales and service jobs in 2009. (Source: Statistics Canada Report "Paid Work" by Vincent Ferrao (2010) at page 21)

47 cents

The average amount working racialized women in Ontario were short-changed for every dollar non-racialized men got paid for work in 2005. (Source: Wellesley Institute)


Percentage of Canadian women in low-wage jobs, compared to 10 per cent of men. (Source: "Women's Poverty and the Recession" by Monica Townson, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2009 at p. 16)


Poverty follows women into their retirement: women 65 or over are twice as likely as men to be low income. (Source)

$125.8 billion

Women, families, communities, and the economy suffer when there is pay inequality. The estimated annual lost income potential of Canadian women as a result of unequal income and labour force participation rates, according to a 2005 Royal Bank of Canada report, was $125.8 billion. (Source:  Royal Bank of Canada report "The Diversity Advantage: A Case for Canada's 21st Century Economy" at page 21)

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative's Trish Hennessy has long been a fan of Harper Magazine's one-page list of eye-popping statistics, Harper's Index. Instead of wishing for a Canadian version to magically appear, she's created her own index -- a monthly listing of numbers about Canada and its place in the world. Hennessy's Index -- A number is never just a number -- comes out on the first of each month in rabble.ca.

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