Gender and Inequality in the Canadian workplace Nadia Giannatiempo Gender and Inequality in the Canadian workplace “According to a recent Annual World Economic Forum study, Canada lags behind Sri Lanka, Lesotho and Latvia at No. 20 in a global ranking of equality between men and women”(Canada ranks 20th in global gender equality study, 2011)…
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However, when it comes to gender inequality at workplace, Canada seems to be having one of the worst statistics. “On average, the estimated earned income for Canadian women is $28,315 compared with $40,000 for men”(Canada ranks 20th in global gender equality study, 2011). The purpose of this paper is to study why Canada has such bad statistics with respect to gender inequality even though it has a reputation of one of the most civilized nation in the world. Issues related to gender inequality in Canada Canada is a country to which immigration is rapidly growing. “In 1981, there were approximately 1.1 million visible minorities, accounting for 4.7 percent of the total population. By 2001, the number of visible minorities reached almost 4 million or 13.4 percent of the population” (Banerji, 2006, p.2). The above statistics clearly show that the minority population size in Canada is growing at a much rapid pace than that in other parts of the world. Majority of the women from immigrant community are coming to Canada for employment. In fact the women from immigrant community are suffering more employment discrimination and wage inequality compared to the local women. This is because of the increased racial profiling and stereotyping. “For instance, using the Ethnic Diversity Survey, Reitz and Banerjee (2005) found that while only about 10 percent of White respondents perceived overall societal discrimination in the past five years, more than a third (35.9 percent) of visible minorities reported experiencing discrimination” (Banerji, 2006, p.2-3). The increased participation of women in paid work seems to be the major factor behind increased gender inequality in Canadian workplace. Earlier, women were not much interested in coming out from the kitchens and look for any paid jobs outside. In fact male domination prevented them from doing so. However, the changing concepts of social life and the increased call for men and women equality helped women to break the barrier and increase their participation in outside jobs. Theoretical perspectives A separate study released by the Toronto-Dominion Bank says the earnings wage gap is related to motherhood. "Women in this group appear to be incurring larger wage penalties unrelated to their skills, education and experience,” the bank says. “Evidence strongly suggests that labor force intermittency is the main, yet multidimensional, culprit." Women without children tend to have similar wages to men with comparable levels of experience and education. Women who leave the workforce to have children tend to experience "an unexplained, but persistent" wage gap of about 3% per year for each year they are away, the bank says (Canada ranks 20th in global gender equality study, 2011). Motherhood seems to be a major reason for the wage inequalities and employment discriminations in Canada. Motherhood prevents women from working as normally as men. Motherhood imposes certain burdens upon the females and therefore it is difficult for them to work just like men. Employers know this fact very well and they cite those reasons while explaining employment discriminations at work places. Genetically men seem to be much stronger both physically and mentally than females. In other words, women cannot undertake some jobs which require hard labor and mental strain. Even though, current females are willing to undertake any jobs,
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