Every year, April 10 marks Equal Pay Day. Why? Because women on average have to work an extra three and a half months each year to earn what a man does in twelve months. And it takes even longer if you’re a woman of colour, and Indigenous woman, an immigrant woman, and/or a woman who has a disability. But it feels like this issue has been around forever – what do we need to do to fix it once and for all? Ausma talks with Fay Faraday and Pamela Uppal about why they are fighting to close the gender pay gap, the merits and criticisms of Lean In, and who inspires their work.
Fay Faraday is a lawyer who has fought against systemic discrimination in courtrooms and in social movements. She is a co-chair of the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition.
Pamela Uppal is leading a project on the experiences of decent work for women in Ontario’s nonprofit sector with the Ontario Nonprofit Network.
Sign the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition petition and call on the government to close the gender pay gap now.
Pam and Fay shouted out to a bunch of groups doing great work in the fight for decent work for women – find out more about them!
- The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario has been advocating for quality, affordable child care and decent work for early childhood educators.
- Access Alliance is leading a project called Promoting Decent Work for Racialized Women, aiming to centre their voices and build effective pathways to decent work.
- Scarborough Women’s Centre serves many diverse groups of women and runs an outreach program to improve the economic security of women with disabilities.
- Workers Action Centre and Fight for $15 and Fairness have been mobilizing collective action by workers – with some impressive victories.
Check out Pam’s research on Decent Work for Women in non-profits.
On April 10, 2018 – Equal Pay Day – Fay wrote this op-ed on the fight to close the gender pay gap.
“Tell girls today that they can be astronauts, or doctors, or university professors, and the implication that they can do anything a boy can do is often lost on them. Many have the benefit of being largely unaware that boys have always had a leg up, and millennial women were perhaps the first generation to grow up with this new mindset… But once we begin our working lives, we’re left with the bitter impression that we’ve been sold a bill of goods.” Laurin Liu gives a millennial view on the gender pay gap and the challenges facing young working women.
Fay references this research that showed, contrary to popular belief, women ask for raises just as much as men – they were just less likely to get them.
August 7 is Black Equal Pay Day in the United States. Check out this campaign and others aimed at building awareness of wage differences among women.
In May 2018, the government of Ontario introduced a new law to increase pay transparency in Ontario. Read about it here.
Want to hear Pam and Fay’s fight songs? Listen to them, and the fight songs of all our Lovers & Fighters guests, here.