How pay inequality between men and women was highlighted during the pandemic
By Rabia Khan
The pandemic hit all of us differently, and for working-class women, it hit even harder. The issue of inequality between men and women has always existed throughout the ages. Gender pay differences have been making headlines ever since women started getting recognized for their work. During the pandemic, the reality of inequality between genders was seriously addressed. Several studies predicted that women were vulnerable even before Covid hit the employment sector.
Women workers and gender equality in the workplace have been studied by researchers at Simon Fraser University and the University of Saskatchewan in relation to the pandemic’s commercial issues. Due to the persistent pay gap between men and women, including imbalance in the most affected sections, women lost a greater number of employment opportunities during the pandemic. This should be enough to wake up young women who are pursuing to make it big in their jobs.
Pay pain points between men and women highlighted during the pandemic
According to Statistics Canada data from the Labour Force Survey, women workers in the city of Ontario took home earnings of $0.89 for every $1.00 men earned in 2021. The survey proves that the gender gap has narrowed. Due to many reasons, women have also worked fewer hours than men.
Women lose their sense of seniority because of caregiving roles they’re forced upon and are likely to work part-time rather than full-time because of expectations to run a household. Women struggle to overcome the gender gap and disparity even if they’re highly qualified. Alberta and British Columbia saw the highest gender wage gap over the past few years. Women indulge in unpaid work as opposed to men.
According to Pearson Global Learner Survey 2021, the future shines bright for women who belong to the ‘Gen Z’ category. The survey revealed that Gen Z women predicted that gender equality at work would improve by 36%, whereas millennials predicted it would improve by 25% and Baby Boomers predicted it by 29%.
It is also revealed that when it comes to negotiating salary, men demand more than what is expected out of them, while women shy away from demanding for more. The female-to-male contribution rate decreased from 0.61 to 0.63 during the pandemic and the low percentage shows women are facing worst gender inequality. Lawmakers have not acted as they should to address the gender ratio disparity because it all boils down to spending money.
What can be done
The overall findings make it quite evident that anything that advances women’s rights helps the country and civilization across the world to grow. The virus outbreak brings that into clearer focus and presents some extremely difficult decisions. It’s time that industries and government take action to improve the lives of women.