Saturday, May 18, 2024

Equal pay for equal work: Recent poll shows achieving gender equality in BC is still far-off


A poll was recently conducted to gauge how far British Columbians and Canadians think gender equality has come over the past 20 years. 

Research Co., a BC-based statistics and analysis firm, asked hundreds of BC residents along with people from across the country what they think about gender equality. The results show that a huge gap remains between men and women in terms of privilege, but things have improved. 

First off, pollees were asked whether they think things have improved over the past two decades. The results found that half of British Columbians think things have gotten better, while 36% think things are the same now as they were then and 9% think things have gotten worse. 

British Columbians who took this poll also believe women generally have the same opportunities as men to take part in: becoming elected politicians (69%), getting a university degree (91%), becoming the CEO of a company (58%) and being financially independent (74%). 

With the exception of getting a university degree, the answers to these questions not being closer to 100% is a stark sign that there is still a way to go. 

Perhaps the most notable question asked in the Research Co. poll was, “From what you have seen, read or heard, do you think women and men in Canada are paid the same salary when working the same job?”

To this, 67% of British Columbians said “no, they are not,” only 21% said “yes, they are,” while 12% said they were not sure how to answer the question. 

Not surprisingly, men answered, “yes, they are,” at a rate of 33% while only 19% of women said, “no they are not.”

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When it comes to how the Canadian government can support gender equality, 41% of BC residents said that they could be doing more, 30% said they are doing the appropriate amount, 18% said they should be doing less for equality while 14% said they were unsure. 

Again, not shocking that just 38% of men said the government should be doing more as compared to women’s 50%. 

One such example of how more could be done on behalf of the federal government would be to establish rules that would set a minimum mandatory number of women in the Senate and House of Commons.

Pollees were asked if they were in favour or opposed to this.

In BC, 45% of people were in favour of mandatory minimums for women in these governmental bodies while a close 39% were opposed and 14% didn’t know. 

How do you feel about gender equality in BC or Canada as a whole? When you look around your workplace, do you see women in management positions? Are there fewer women in charge than men? Why do you think that is? Let us know in the comments!

Curtis Blandy

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