Gender Pay Gap Grows Over Span of Career

Women in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, earn an average of $36,000 a year to men’s $51,000 – for an average gender pay gap of 29.4 per cent. This is according to a new report by the Centre for Policy Alternatives, and is based on 2013 Statistics Canada income data including full- and part-time work, self-employed and paid employment.

Even among the best paid 10 per cent of women who earn an average of $109,000 a year, the earnings shortfall is 37 per cent less than top earning men, or $64,000 a year. Over a 35-year career, that amounts to $2.24 million less.

In every category – even female-dominated fields such as health care – women’s average annual earnings are less than men’s pay.

Sales and service – Women’s earnings: $18,600; Men’s earnings: $36,000; Gender pay gap: 48 per cent.

Health care – Women’s earnings: $47,000; Men’s earnings: $75,000; Gender pay gap: 37 per cent.

All industries with data for women also reveal a gender pay gap. The biggest disparity is in real estate and leasing, where women earn $27,000 to men’s $59,000, resulting in a gender pay gap of 54 per cent.

Even though the majority of post-secondary degree holders are women, and they are moving into professions once dominated by men, their average annual earnings still lag behind those of men.

Graduate degree – Women’s earnings: $62,000; Men’s earnings: $85,000; Gender pay gap: 27 per cent.

The gender pay gap persists through-out the life cycle, steadily growing as women get older.

Age 15-24 – Women’s earnings: $10,300; Men’s earnings: $13,400; Gap: 23 per cent.

Age 55-64 – Women’s earnings: $40,000; Men’s earnings: $65,000; Gap: 38 per cent.

So, what’s the lesson here? It’s not that male workers are paid more at the expense of women workers. It’s that women are paid less by the bosses, and the difference is pocketted by the owners. The pay gap will be closed, and all forms of discrimination will end, when the working class, pushed by women and other oppressed social layers, unites and takes up the struggle for equality and socialism.

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