Motherhood, social norms behind gender wage gap in Canada: Finance Canada docs

OTTAWA — An internal government analysis concludes motherhood — and the societal expectations that come with it — are major factors in the gender wage gap.

Finance Canada prepared a briefing note this summer outlining several reasons for stalled progress on levelling the income-earning playing field.

The Canadian Press obtained the briefing note through the Access to Information Act.

The analysis shows that while Canadian women now achieve higher levels of education than men, and pursue high-earning careers in greater numbers, the fact that women bear children — and bear the bulk of responsibility to raise them — remains.

So too do social norms that expect women to prioritize family life, which the memo suggests can also get in the way of career advancement.

The memo suggests that any further efforts to reduce the gender pay gap, including public policy, will need to include “broad societal changes.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2019.

The Canadian Press