What are the growth areas of our economy? How has our individual prosperity changed? Are we adjusting to current economic conditions?
Sparking Unprecedented Growth
While the traditional images of this province’s rocky shores, pristine forests and wooden
fishing boats might seem like the furthest thing from the fast-paced world of tech startups, the NL tech sector is seeing unprecedented growth.
Unpacking the Gender Wage Gap
Jenny Wright & Brenda Grzetic St. John’s Status of Women Council
Another day, another 66 cents for women in Newfoundland and Labrador. Our province has the unfortunate distinction of having the largest gender wage gap in the country. The reasons behind the gender wage gap are complex to say the least. Women make up 69% of part-time workers and make up 66% of all minimum wage workers in the province. Women are over-represented in lower-paying sectors such as health, education, and business, finance and administration, and underrepresented in resource sectors such as mining and oil and gas where salaries are higher. In 2017, women made up 82% of workers in health occupations, yet only 6.5% of skilled-trades workers in the province.
Women continue to face restrictions on their level of engagement in the labour force because they are still more likely to be responsible for unpaid care in the home for both children and seniors. Statistics Canada reports that women – and particularly mothers – accounted for nearly twothirds of all the hours of household work done by Canadian parents. Workplace policies for flexible time for parents are generally sporadic and poorly implemented. So, even when a woman welder makes the same wage as the man working beside her, over the course of a year she often doesn’t work the same number of hours due to family responsibilities, as well as lack of seniority or interest in giving her access to overtime. The lack of quality affordable childcare with some degree of expanded hours is one of the biggest impediments to women’s workforce participation in this province.
Closing the wage gap is critical to improving the lives of women and children in NL and stimulating the economy in a time when we desperately need solutions. There are no drawbacks to equal pay, only increased prosperity for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.