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Let’s close the gender pay gap once and for all

Publish date: Wednesday, April 07, 2021 update

Equal pay day graphic of a loonie with a chunk missing and text reading "in Ontario, women make 32% less than men"

Equal Pay Day, first recognized in Ontario in 2014, is the date that illustrates how long, on average, a woman would have to work into the next year to earn the same salary as a man would in the previous year.

In other words, on average, a woman would have to work until April 7, 2021—an extra 96 days—to earn catch up to what a man would earn for 2020 for the same work.

The pay gap persists and, according to the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition, it affects different women differently. The overall average gender pay gap is 32%. However, immigrant women face a 55% gender pay gap, racialized women face a 40% gap, and the pay gap faced by Indigenous women is 45%. The gender pay gap for women with disabilities is even higher—an astonishing 56%. Data from the Coalition shows that half of all trans and non-binary people earn less than $15,000 per year, and transgender women experience a 30% wage drop after transitioning.

AMAPCEO Vice-President Cynthia Watt is disappointed but not surprised that the gender pay gap remains an issue in 2021. “Time and time again, myths about why women make less have been disproven. Women have to work four months longer than men to earn an equal wage. This is unacceptable.”

Joining a union is one of the most effective ways to narrow the gender pay gap. Data shows that, through collective bargaining, unionized workers receive fairer compensation, and that unionized women and gender-diverse people are paid more equitably.

Watt is proud of the progress AMAPCEO has made to help close that gap for its members—63% of whom are women.

“We’ve made a great start, but there’s still work to be done,” Watt said. “That’s where solidarity—people power—comes in. Together, we can push to close the gap once and for all.”

AMAPCEO also wants to make it easier for workers—particularly women and gender-diverse Ontarians—to join a union.

The union has long advocated that Queen’s Park restore card-check certification to make unionizing faster and more straight-forward, and to catch up to many other provinces in Canada.                                                                   

To show your support for Equal Pay Day, take a photo of yourself wearing red at home and post it on Twitter and include #DemandBetter and @AMAPCEO. Let’s work together to end the gender wage gap and raise the wage for workers in Ontario.

More about AMAPCEO and our Members: Established in 1992, AMAPCEO is a bargaining agent that represents 14,000 professional and supervisory public servants, most of whom work directly for the Government of Ontario in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in 130 communities throughout Ontario and in 12 cities outside Canada. We also represent employees outside the Ontario Public Service in: the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council; Ontario Health (Quality Unit); Public Health Ontario; the Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; and in the former Offices of the Ontario Child Advocate and the French Language Services Commissioner (now part of the Ontario Ombudsman).