The gender wage gap consultation gave women and men across the province a chance to share their views and concerns about work, home and pay. Through meetings and discussions, Ontarians told us what they think is causing the gender wage gap and solutions they would like to see.
About the consultation
The consultation papers and the online survey included questions about influences on employment and career decisions, factors that cause the gender wage gap, effective approaches for achieving work life balance, effective gender inclusive workplace policies and pay practices, and other ways to close the gender wage gap. Some participants answered the questions directly; most people gave us their personal views or experiences, or their organization’s position.
An “open mic” format was used at the public town halls. Individuals and stakeholder representatives were present. The public town halls raised awareness of gender wage gap issues in local communities. It gave residents a chance to share their experiences of the local labour market and gender workplace challenges. No specific questions were posed, although reference was made to the consultation documents and website information.
The majority of written submissions came from organizations. Some of these organizations were also represented at the public town halls and/or at local stakeholder meetings.
Public engagement on gender wage gap issues
The consultations provided opportunities for women and men across the province to share their views and concerns about work, home and pay. Through meetings and discussions, Ontarians told us what they thought were the most important factors causing gender wage gaps and solutions they would like to see.
We heard that the gender wage gap has many causes. The consultations gave the Gender Wage Gap Strategy Steering Committee a chance to learn more about them, why they continue to occur and their effects on individuals, their families, businesses and communities.
This report summarizes many of the comments and ideas we received on how to close Ontario’s gender wage gap.
Child care was the number one issue everywhere. Clear statements were made about the need for a public system of early childhood education and care that is universal, high quality and comprehensive. Participants called for public funding and support that provides for both adequate wages and affordable fees.
Accessing child care subsidies was noted as an issue for some women. Eligibility is based on an assessment of household income and labour market participation of both parents. These rules may prevent women with children from working and becoming economically independent, because access to child care subsidies depends on household situations rather than an individual’s need. Lack of child care limits women’s employment options. The non-transferability of the subsidy across regions and lack of transportation to childcare facilities were problems many women discussed. These barriers are even more serious for mothers who need to earn enough to leave an abusive relationship.