Module 5: Gender Equity
We will begin by looking at a timeline of women’s participation in the workforce starting in the early 1900s. However, it is important to acknowledge the differences in the experiences of women who belong to other equity-deserving groups. Often, the literature represents a historical view that privileges the experience of White women and asserts a western, White feminist perspective regarding discussions of gender equality. The intersectional experiences of women and the disproportionate impacts on various groups suggest we must consider differences in the experiences and the kinds of impact it has on different women belonging to other groups and communities. Discussions of gender equity have transformed to include women and girls, two-spirit, trans and non-binary. We wish to acknowledge this is a notable limitation of this module in its current state.
This timeline outlines the level of participation that women had in the workplace and the still existing wage gap.
The wage gap that exists between men and women is, in large part, due to women having access to work that is traditionally aligned with perceived gender roles. The work tends to resemble domestic work that is performed for free in the household. In 2015, women were most highly represented in healthcare, social assistance, educational services as well as food and accommodation services. Another factor in the wage gap is that more women than men are employed in part-time jobs.
We must consider why women tend to be steered towards these options and how we can create more opportunities to show value to anyone in these lines of work.
It must be noted that women often get paid less in corporate spaces as well, making less than their male counterparts. Over time, the wage gap has lessened; however, there is still a long way to go.
Let’s look at key concepts and theories intended to provide you with a foundation of theoretical information. These concepts and theories only scratch the surface of the lived experiences of women. By gaining foundational knowledge, you will be able to engage in deeper dialogue while being primed for deeper learning and self-discovery.