Gender Discrimination in Canadian Workforces
by BLanguay on February 1, 2016 - 9:45am
a. Topic and Type of Paper / Justification of Social Issue
The topic of this paper is gender inequality in the modern Canadian workforce. This paper will be mainly comparative, as it will aim to determine the differences that each gender has to face when it comes both to obtaining a job, as well as earning promotions and elevated salaries. This paper will also attempt to determine solutions to eliminate potential gender disparities in the average workplace.
Gender inequality in the workplace can be characterized as a social issue because it demonstrates a difference between the social ideal (men and women are provided equal employment and promotion opportunities, as well as equal pay for equal work) and the social reality (women have lower chances of being hired and earning promotions than their male coworkers).
While the situation for working women has improved drastically over the past 50 years in Canada (Healey, 32), some inequality still remains. On average in Canada, men earn $3.21 more each hour than women do for equal labour (Cornish, 6). This, however, is simply an average, with many women of immigrant or Aboriginal decent experiencing even higher pay gaps (Cornish, 7). In addition, men are also more likely to be given positions of high responsibility, as many employers today feel that hiring women in these positions is risky, due to the potential for maternity leave (Healey, 33). This paper will explore some methods to decrease the pay gap in Canada, which include increasing the minimum wage as well as providing accessible child care (Cornish, 11).
b. 2-3 Major areas of interest/important questions & associated social science disciplines
- How does the pay gap affect women entering the workforce? Does it discourage women from looking for full-time positions despite high college graduation rates? (economics, sociology)
- What government measures can be put in place to limit gender discrimination in Canadian workforces? (political science)
- Why is gender discrimination an ongoing problem? What psychological traits are associated with gender discrimination? (psychology)
c. Who/what groups are involved in this issue?
Gender discrimination in the workplace is mainly impactful on the level of community, as thousands of women are discriminated upon simply due to gender, as opposed to having lower pay due to individual flaws. While some cases are worse than others, the issue of gender discrimination is easier resolved when looked at as a whole, rather than specific occurrences. In addition, the Canadian government should be involved in this social issue, as it should be implementing measures to limit gender discrimination in the workplace.
Cornish, M. (2013). 10 Ways To Close Ontario's Gender Pay Gap. Toronto, ON, CAN: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - Ontario Office. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com
Healey, J. (Ed.). (2014). Issues in Society, Volume 374 : Gender Discrimination and Inequality. Thirroul, AUS: The Spinney Press. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com