May 19, 2020

ADP: Making equal pay a priority

Equal Pay
Gender and Diversity
Sooky Lee
Sooky Lee
5 min
ADP: Making equal pay a priority

It’s no secret that today women make up a nearly equal part of Canada’s workforce as men. While this might be apparent around the office, it’s still not entirely reflected when it comes to compensation.

Together with Leger, ADP Canada decided dive into this issue to not just understand the imbalance of base salaries of working Canadians, but also in additional compensation and attitudes around the priority of pay equity in their organizations. The results were disappointing, but to many— not all that surprising.

When it comes to salaries, the survey revealed that, based on self-reported figures, working woman in Canada (CA$49,721) earned, on average, nearly 25 percent less than their male counterparts ($66,504) last year. When you factor in additional compensation, such as bonuses and profit sharing, the gap widens further. Women on average reported earning $3,912 in additional compensation in 2018, while their male counterparts report $5,823 - meaning women are earning one-third less in this respect.

The priority of pay equity also remains to be a discrepancy between working Canadians. One in four women believe that pay equity is not made a priority by management in organizations, which is reflective of the 31 per cent of responding executives who state that the gender wage gap is not their primary concern. Perception of pay inequity is also an issue, as 78% of men said they believe that pay equity is being achieved in their organization – compared to only 62% of women.

Discussing salary has become less taboo as it has been in the past, and 48% of all workers say that they would leave their current employer if they found out that a colleague of equal standing received different compensation based on gender. These conversations are happening more frequently, and tolerance is declining. Millennials are most troubled by this, with 52% saying they would leave their current employer if they found out pay equity was not achieved in their workplace—higher than any other age demographic. As these workers become the largest segment of the Canadian workforce, the ability for organizations to take a stance of inaction on the topic of pay equity is rapidly declining – and employers that do not prioritize it accordingly risk losing talent to competitors that do.


In the tight talent market of today and tomorrow, it can and will be difficult to keep find and retain great employees for your organization. To ensure you’re not losing people due to unjustified, antiquated pay biases, employers should consider the following steps:

Commit to compensation equity

We’ve come a long way. Today’s workplace better reflects gender equality in many ways however, more work needs to be done to ensure that organizations have the tools they need to help promote a more inclusive pay environment.

Wage transparency, diverse management groups and fair hiring practices are all pro-active drivers that can help bridge the gap between gender pay inequity. Committing to equal pay as an organization could also establish trust among the workplace and help employees (and customers) build strong relationships with your company.

Remove bias during budgeting

Leading organizations should review their compensation policies and practices each year to make sure that they comply with pay equity practices. When setting budgets, audit compensation levels and look for opportunities to remove unseen or unintentional gender bias.

Executives and managers should also be trained so they understand the impact of gender bias on their decision-making and communicate in a clear and efficient manner to reduce bias in staffing decisions and performance reviews. Also, pay analysis, coupled with a pay development plan should be established early in the budgeting process, to eliminate pay gaps.

See talent, not gender

To help break the glass ceiling, companies need to work to recognize and remove all biases in their hiring practices; hiring and promotion decisions should be based on talent and qualifications and not gender or any other factor prone to bias. According to the survey, fair compensation based on qualifications and results – regardless of gender – is a top concern for younger Canadians; however, it should also be a top priority for everyone in the workforce. The Canadian workplace is moving towards a more progressive stance regarding gender pay inequity but workplace behaviours need to change for this issue to be diminished. Stricter guidelines, processes and procedures (including having a diverse candidate selection panel) should be in place during the hiring process to ensure that the right person is chosen for the job – and that their compensation is reflective of their position, not their gender.

Canadian workplaces can help alleviate this unfair and outdated gap by compensating workers free from bias to contribute to a healthier, happier workplace overall.  And remember, it isn’t always all about the money. The pay gap can be harmful to more than just a female employee’s bank account; paying some less than others for the same work can decrease morale and diminish a great employees self-worth.  

Having confidence, comfort and credit for a job well done is something that you can pay for, but cannot put a price on.

Sooky Lee is the General Manager of ADP’s Human Resource Outsourcing practice in Canada. She is responsible for the growth and management of a strategic business unit providing ADP Canada clients with HR support and services in a variety of ways, from self-service access to HR knowledge, compliance and tools via ADP HR Assist or fully managed HR administrative services through ADP Workforce Now Comprehensive Services.

Share article

Jun 10, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 


Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.


Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 


When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 


Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 


The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 


It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 


Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”


The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 


According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 


Share article