The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity is getting $335,005 from the federal government to help address the low wages paid to women working as caregivers in the private sector.
Executive Director Johanne Perron says over their three year project, part of the project is to find careers dominated by men that can be reasonably compared to the female dominated caregiving sector.
“And we are actually working on a methodology right now so that we can come with a good system, that would be recognized by everybody as being fair, both to women in the caregiving sector, and to the men who will be comparable to them,” says Perron.
Perron says during the project, they will find and assess comparable jobs dominated by men, educate workers in the caregiving sector, and advocate for an appropriate wage.
“Well it’s about time that we don’t put women’s wages in the backburner all the time, ever since I’ve been doing this job, we’re always told well there are economic considerations,” says Perron. “But for women too, there are economic considerations.”
She adds these women have rent or mortgages to pay, food to buy, and other normal life expenses, and are making substantially less than they should be.
Perron says in the caregiving sector right now in New Brunswick, there are issues relating to the recruitment and retention of caregivers, and equivalent pay for work of equivalent value would help reduce those problems.
According to federal Minister of Status of Women Maryam Monsef, women continue to be disproportionately affected by economic insecurity, saying in 2015, women in Canada earned just 87 cents for every dollar earned by men.
In addition, women were much more likely to work on a part time basis, making up just over three quarters of all part time workers
The McKinsey Global Institute estimates by taking steps to advance equality for women – by employing more women in technology, and boosting women’s participation in the workforce – Canada could add $150 billion to its economy by 2026.