Canada has been one of the most gender equal nations with its prime minister being the first of his kind to self-proclaim himself as a feminist and appointing a gender equal cabinet. However, this equal status was put under the radar by a report published by The McKinsey Global Institute, a research arm of the corporate consultancy giant.

The report claims that “a considerable economic opportunity” for Canada by tackling the gender wage gap of $150 billion. This value can uplift the GDP by 2026, if the government and the administration can overcome the disparity.

Tiffany Vogel, from McKinsey, told CBC that gender equality is “not just a moral imperative [and] not just the right thing to do – it’s good business practice”.

For every dollar made by a Canadian man, an average woman makes 0.74. This is supported by the imbalance of male – female ratio in higher positions and managements. Men tend to earn more across all jobs and are offered full-time jobs and higher posts as compared to their counterparts. This data was shown in Canada’s national statistics.

According to the McKinsey report,

1. The same statistics also say that 82% of women aged 25-54 were working, or looking for work, in 2015 – compared to 21% in 1950, and 63% in 1983. Even though there are more and more women graduating from colleges, the number of women applying for jobs or continuing them is less than men primarily due to child care and marriage.

2.  95% of the CEOs are male and among the 69 companies it surveyed, women make up 45% of entry-level workers, 25% of vice-presidents and 15% of CEOs.

“The gender pay gap persists in all types of occupations, even when women are at higher-paying jobs,” said Trish Hennessy, a director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) thinktank.

3. The GDP growth has slowed to approximately 2% a year, and that “a significant part of the solution is for Canada to tap into the vast, unrealised potential of women”.

4. Canada has also fallen down in the ranks of the World Economic Forum’s global gender equality rankings to the 35th position.

5. Only 24% of the senior management roles are filled by women. Along with this, in most of the countries, it is legal for a person to ask a female about her marital status during recruitment.

Armine Yalnizyan, a Canadian economist and business commentator, told the Guardian that, while gender inequality at work is a national problem, “there are huge variations across the country” referring to the disparity between Saskatchewan and Alberta, with the latter showing more gap. “Gaps are falling among young people, but they’re nowhere near closed. It’s people that don’t have more than high-school [education] that see the biggest wage gap between women and men,” she added.

Canada not only faces the wage gap issue. An Oxfam report published in January reported that two of the country’s billionaires are as wealthy as the poorest third of the population.

The Canadian Government has announced to perform gender-based analysis to curb this disparity and push the GPD higher by including more women in its economic sphere. It has assured to introduce national pay equity legislation by 2018.

Till then, it is better for not just Canada but all nations to set a deadline with a goal that is achievable. Nations must work together and close the gap to actualise proper inclusion.

Picture Credit: adamsmith.org

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Jagriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV