While Canada is often heralded as a fair and progressive state, a new study conducted by the Angus Reid Institute shows that many residents perceive an imbalance in salaries between men and women who perform similar work.
While the majority of working people in Canada say they are fairly compensated (62%), a significant one-in-five (18%) say there is a gendered pay gap in their own workplace.
The vast majority of Canadian working women (79%) believe that this gender pay gap is a “serious issue” in the country, while a slim majority of men (51%) agree.
However, the majority of both sexes (roughly 70%) are in support of legislation that would compel companies with at least 25 employees to pay men and women “close-to-equal wages for close-to-equal work”.
Women and men disagree on details
According to the report, women and men disagree about many aspects of the modern workplace.
While the majority of both genders believe that the pay gap is arbitrary and not based on experience or skill, men are at least twice as likely than women to say that the gap stems from decisions that women make rather than outright discrimination.
Meanwhile, women and men seem to disagree on workplace expectations placed on both genders. The vast majority of employed women (72%) say that their gender is held to a higher standard in the workplace, while only one-in-three men (32%) agree.
Interestingly, respondents’ political affiliations played a role in how the gender gap was perceived.
In areas where women disagree, Conservative-leaning women are three times as likely to say that the pay gap stems from women’s choices rather than being held to higher standards than men in the workplace.
The study uses the responses of 1,501 randomly selected working Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum between March 8 – 12, 2019.