Working Canadians Want New Legislation to End the Gender Pay Gap

Three-in-four employed women think men and women who do the same job and have the same skill levels are not paid equally.

Vancouver, BC – A significant majority of Canadians who currently work believe it is time to establish new federal guidelines to end the gender pay gap, a new Insights West poll conducted for Maclean’s has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of employed Canadians, four-in-five (82%) believe there should be new legislation that guarantees equal pay for work of equal value in Canada. Women (87%) and those aged 18-to-34 (84%) are particularly supportive of this initiative.

Three-in-five employed Canadians (62%) think men and women who do the same job and have the same skill levels are “definitely” or “probably” not paid equally at this point. Women are far more likely to think that there is no equal pay in Canada (75%) than men (49%).

There is also a sizeable difference in how men and women who currently work perceive the time they spend on duties like housework and child care. While more than half of employed Canadians (53%) think full-time working women spend “much more time than men” on these duties, this view is shared by 68% of women, but only 36% of men.

When asked about the wage gap between full-time working men and full-time working women in Canada, three-in-ten Canadians who currently work (31%) think the wage gap ranges “from 11% to 20%”, while almost one-in-four (23%) place it at “from 21% to 30%”. Only 6% of employed Canadians assert that “there is no wage gap” in the country.

When asked when they think the gender pay gap will be eliminated in Canada, one-in-six working Canadians (17%) think the issue will never be resolved.

Seven-in-ten Canadians who currently work (70%) think there is a wage gap between full-time working women who are visible minorities and those who are white. However, most employed Canadians (55%) think wage equality among genders in entry level positions is better now than it was 10 years ago.

Almost three-in-four Canadians who currently work (73%) say they would be comfortable with their salary being made public if it could reveal salary inequity—a proportion that includes 81% of women. In addition, three-in-five employed Canadians (61%) think all salaries within organizations in Canada—public and private—should be made public. Once again, women are more supportive (66%).

While 41% of Canadians who currently work agree with the notion that men face “more social pressure to excel in their career” compared to women, there is a noticeable difference. Men are definitely more likely to agree with this statement (52%) than women (30%).

Across the country, only 11% of Canadian women who currently work say they tried to negotiate a higher salary because of a perceived disparity with a male colleague. Among those who negotiated, 41% eventually were paid more. The rate of success is higher among women aged 55 and over (65%) and those in British Columbia (74%).

Seven-in-ten Canadians who currently work (71%) know what the general industry standard is for salaries in their profession, and more than half (53%) believe maternity leave plays a major role in exacerbating wage inequality in Canada.

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from January 15 to January 19, 2018, among 875 Canadian adults who are currently employed. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.3 percentage points. View the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com