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Gender Wage Gap Study Completed By Wilfrid Laurier Professor

Gender equality has been in the spotlight. There’s no doubt that women in business and MBA programs experience a gap in pay and job placement—as evidenced in our recent article. But while everyone has been talking about it, that’s not enough. What are we doing about it?

Tammy Schirle, an associate professor at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, is delving into research to find the reason behind the gender wage gap in Ontario and what can be done to fix the issue.

In partnership with the Laurier Center for Economic Research and Policy Analysis as well as Ana Ferrer from the University of Waterloo, she’s exploring the industries in which the gender wage gap is most likely to represent systemic discrimination. Her project is one of only three across the province of Ontario to receive funding from the Ontario Pay Equity Office’s Gender Wage Gap Grant Program.

Based on past research, Schirle is directly examining gender differences in the skills required by a person’s job and how those skills relate to a gap in pay. “Our results suggest that in some industries, women actually appear more skilled than men, but are paid less for their skills as they are segregated into ‘women’s’ jobs within the industry,” said Schirle in a news release. “In the construction industry, for example, there is a 19 per cent difference between men’s and women’s wages. Here, if men and women were paid the same wages for the same skills, we would not see any gender wage gap at all.”

While women being more skilled isn’t always true, it’s important for Schirle to highlight that, in some cases, women who are more skilled are paid less, solely based on their gender. It’s necessary research for the Canadian economy and ties in well with Equal Pay Day, which falls on April 19. Equal Pay Day recognizes the difference between what equally qualified men and women are paid for equal work.

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Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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