A new survey from ADP Canada and Leger shows that pay equality remains a persistent challenge for Canadian organizations. The survey also reveals that the ongoing pandemic dissimilarly impacts men and women, particularly working mothers, in terms of career growth, stress levels, and potential to seek new employment.

Limited options for school and childcare placed a strain on all working parents; however, data from the survey shows working mothers were more heavily impacted. 50% of working mothers reported experiencing disproportionately high stress levels due to balancing childcare obligations and work throughout the pandemic, compared to 40% of their male counterparts. Working women also reported a more significant impact when it comes to mental health, with 45% indicating that working during the pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health, compared to 37% of men.

“During these challenging times, it is critical that Canadian organizations keep sight of gender issues and how the demands of work and home can impact groups differently,” said Natalka Haras, Legal Counsel at ADP Canada. “Leaders should exercise empathy and compassion in the workplace to ensure that their employees – particularly working mothers – are provided with the necessary support mechanisms to allow them to thrive.”

Equal pay and pay equality are still major issues for Canadian working women, who are open to finding new jobs

Self-reported results from the survey show that women continue to earn 23% less in total income (pre-tax salary and other compensation) than men. Women’s pre-tax salaries remain 21% lower than men’s, while additional variable compensation, such as bonuses, profit-sharing or equity agreements, are where disparity surges, with Canadian working women earning 43% less in additional compensation compared to men in 2020. While these results demonstrate a small improvement over survey results collected in 2020, when women reported earning 24% less in salary and 57% less in additional compensation in 2019, employers still have work to do to ensure fair compensation for all employees.

Impact on the future of work: The younger workforce is engaged today, for a more equal workplace tomorrow

With persistent gaps in pay for men and women, it is no surprise that working women were less likely to report that they believe that gender parity is a priority for their organization (69% vs 78% of men). The survey results also revealed that younger workers (18-34) are more engaged than other age groups when it comes to issues of pay equity and equality in Canada, and most willing to leave an organization that doesn’t support fair pay practices. 50% of respondents aged 18-34 said they would leave their organization if they found out that a colleague of equal standing but different gender received higher compensation, compared to only 37% for both the other age cohorts. “Through ongoing and transparent communication, reassurance of employees, and flexible options, employers can better support, attract, and retain workers and decrease this flight risk,” said Haras.

Additional Findings:

Compensation findings

  • Canadian working men were significantly more likely to make more than $80,000 in pre-tax salary (37% vs. 20% of women).
  • Working women were more likely to make between $30,000 and $50,000 (27% vs. 17% for men).  

Perception of gender issues according to age

  • 47% of respondents aged 35-54 who have childcare obligations said that it has become more stressful to take care of their child(ren) while working.
  • Respondents over 55 are more likely to believe that gender pay equality is a priority for the management of their organization (50%, nearly 10% more than other age groups).   

Survey Methodology 

An online survey of 1,001 working Canadians (including those working full and part time) was completed between February 9 and 15, 2021, using Leger’s online panel. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

To view full survey results, click here. 

Source: News Wire