Grace Lore, a political science professor at the University of Victoria, is one of the panelists on the discussion regarding gender equity at the upcoming Vancouver Island Economic Summit. (Photo submitted)

Vancouver Island Economic Summit panel to address gender equity

Canadian women more at risk of falling into poverty than male counterparts

Last month the Canadian government proposed amendments to regulations under the federal Employment Equity Act.

One vital purpose of these proposed amendments is to bring attention to the wage gap between genders.

According to the government of Canada’s 2019 Statement on Gender Equality, gender equity supports increased innovation, builds healthier communities and benefits everyone at every level of employment at an organization.

Despite being among the top progressive nations of the world (Social Progress Imperative, 2018), statistics show Canada still has a lot of work to do in creating a society that is fair and equal to all genders. Canada had the seventh-largest gender wage gap in a comparison between 42 countries. According to a 2018 Minerva Foundation report, British Columbia women held only 22 per cent of available ‘Top 50’ biggest revenue-generating company board seats and only 17 per cent of available Top 50 biggest revenue-generating company senior executive management positions.

In addition, the 2016 Canadian Income Survey from Statistics Canada found that, based on annual earnings, women workers in Canada earned an average of 69 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2016. This measurement results in the largest wage gap because more women work part-time, and part-time workers typically earn less than full-time workers. This gap and lower earning power means Canadian women are at a higher risk of falling into poverty than their male counterparts.

Join moderator Janina Stajic, director of communications and public engagement at Vancouver Island University, and panelists Doris Bear, vice-president of commercial financial services at TD Bank; Grace Lore, political science professor at the University of Victoria; and Katie Armstrong, manager of regulatory and compliance at Seaspan, at the State of the Island Economic Summit this October as they look more closely at recent studies on the wage gap between genders and discuss how pay equity benefits both organizations and communities.

The Summit, taking place Oct. 23-24 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo, will address a number of trending topics in both the global and local economy, such as gender equity, marine tourism, entrepreneurship and the circular economy.

To learn more about the State of the Island Economic Summit and to register, visit www.viea.ca.

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