It’s been just over a week since International Women’s Day.
On March 8, women around the globe stood up and embraced each other, sent funny little pictures and celebrated strong, independent women everywhere.
For one short day, feminism wasn’t considered the other f-word and was shouted from the roof tops. The issues women face every day were forced into the spotlight and for one shiny split second, that glass ceiling almost disappeared.
Then midnight hit and everything went back to the way it was before. Nothing changed.
Even though women make up roughly half of the Canadian labour force, less than six per cent of Canadian CEOs are female. Of that labour force, according to recent data from Statistics Canada, a woman working full time only makes 73.5 cents to every dollar her male counterpart makes.
On average women make about $8,000 a year less than men doing an equivalent job. That’s double the global average and a far stretch from reaching parity.
In fact, the World Economic Forum doesn’t believe that will happen until 2133.
More than a 100 years seems like a long time to wait for something that seems so simple. Pay women what they deserve. Problem solved.
We tell school-aged girls they can grow up to be anything they want. They can do anything boys can do, sometimes even better. Then we tell them they are special.
But at the end of the day, women are told they are literally worth less when they are handed a paycheque.
And that ‘special’ role will often leave women passed over for job openings and promotions while they are still of those pesky childbearing years because very few people want to pay two people to do a job if they don’t have to. Women are routinely fired while on maternity leave – and yes, that is illegal, but it still happens.
We don’t expect change to occur overnight. But it’s been about 100 years since women earned the right to vote in this country. It shouldn’t take another 100 years for gender parity to be achieved.