Province Kicks Off Women's History Month With Discussion On Women And Pay Equity

The Manitoba government is launching October as Women’s History Month with a panel discussion on women and pay equity, Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for the status of women, said today. 

“The gender pay gap continues to be a reality for women across all sectors in Canada, and it impacts their ability to achieve economic independence and provide for themselves and their families,” said Squires.  “I look forward to discussing how we can challenge norms and values that perpetuate discrimination and the glass ceiling effect, as well as encourage women’s executive leadership in the private and public sectors as a way to foster change and inclusion.” 

According to Statistics Canada, female workers in Manitoba aged 25 to 54 earned 90.24 per cent of male workers’ average hourly wage in 2016.  Some of the highest gender wage gaps were found in natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations (particularly supervisory and technical positions);  trades, transport and equipment operator positions; and all management and professional occupations in natural and applied sciences including science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  

Income data from Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census of Populations also showed the median total income for women in Manitoba in 2015 was $29,220 compared to $40,782 for men, a difference of $11,159 or 32 per cent. 

“Based on the data we’re seeing, it’s clear we must support and encourage more girls to maintain an interest and education in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Squires.  “The public sector must also be encouraged to review its organizational structures and hiring practices to ensure women are given equal opportunity to advance within their institutions.”

Each year, the Manitoba Status of Women Secretariat and the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council organize an event to commemorate Women’s History Month.  This year, they have organized a panel discussion on Women and Pay Equity at 12 p.m., Monday, Oct. 2 in the Golden Boy Room at the Legislative Building. 

Speakers include Squires, Dr. Jeannette Montufar, chair of the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council, Laurelle Harris, partner at Levene Tadman Golub Law Corporation and past-chair of the Women’s Health Clinic board of directors, and Shylyte Bloodworth, Red Seal-endorsed instructor at Red River College. 

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