Finance, one of the highest-paying verticals in Canada, is booming with opportunity. However, despite big investments in recruitment, wages, incentives, and benefits, employers are having difficulty filling vacant positions. This recruitment challenge has become a key driver in the increasing income gap.
The income gap is everywhere
While the average income in finance ranges from middle to high, a global research commissioned by Indeed reveals that there are more male employees in the higher income band (CAD $80,000+) than women.1 But it’s not just the finance sector that lags in Canada — income inequality plagues most sectors. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), on average, Canadian men earned 16.1% more than women in 2021. The Canadian government’s own reports revealed that women earn roughly 89 cents for every dollar that men do.
Leaving the gap open is costly
Losing skilled and talented people to income inequality is a liability that companies cannot afford. Within Canada’s financial services industry, women comprise most of the workforce. In its six largest banks alone, women make up 58% of the total workforce. The risk of losing these talented and skilled individuals because of the gender pay gap will have ripple effects on a company's operations. Understaffed businesses tend to ask more of their staff to cover for vacant roles and inexperienced hires, and this leads to mistakes, burnout and ultimately turnovers.
As such, employers in the financial sector need to take steps to ensure that all employees are being compensated fairly and equitably. Organizations can break the cycle of inequality and benefit themselves by closing the gender pay gap. Studies have shown that companies with equal pay for men and women are more profitable, have higher employee morale, and attract better talent. One analysis found that 73% of companies with gender-equality practices increased profitability and productivity in 2021.
The pay inequity challenge
While Canada is often listed as one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, there is room for improvement regarding pay inequality. Canada ranks eighth-worst among the 38 OECD member countries when it comes to the gender pay gap. Not only is this highly concerning but it’s also exacerbating the industry's ongoing talent shortages.
Earnings inequality has created a lack of enthusiasm among women entering the industry, forcing some to opt out of finance altogether. There is now a belief among many women that finance isn’t an attractive career option due to its perceived “male-dominated” nature. With 90% of finance workers, especially younger workers, considering a job change, companies need to look at income inequality in an entirely new way.2
Closing the gender gap in finance through openness and transparency
To close the gender pay gap in finance, organizations must take steps toward creating an equal and welcoming working environment for all employees, regardless of gender. Companies need to ensure that they are actively recruiting and promoting women into top executive positions and providing them with equal opportunities and resources so they can succeed. Additionally, companies should seek mentorships between senior executives (male and female) and younger female employees so they can foster a sense of belonging and support within their teams.
Another effective way to address this issue is through transparency around salaries. And one way to promote your company’s transparency when it comes to salaries is by leveraging the power of Employer Branding. Employers should also make sure they are paying employees based on their experience level and performance while providing training opportunities that focus on eliminating income inequality in the workplace. Organizations should also strive to promote more women as role models for other female colleagues who may be struggling with gender-based discrimination in the workplace.
Furthermore, implementing policies such as flexible hours or remote work can help create more balance between home life and work life for busy mothers who want to enter into this field but may not have enough time due to traditional job setups. These policies will help women participate in this industry without sacrificing other areas of their lives — making it easier for them to break down barriers throughout their careers while also helping them strive towards success in their chosen field!
Achieving these goals takes action
Overall, closing the gender pay gap in finance is a complex process that requires dedication from both employers and employees alike. Organizations must commit to creating equitable environments, where all genders feel safe, supported, respected and have access to equal opportunities — all while ensuring competitive salaries across all levels of employment. Doing so will create a more equitable workplace where everyone can succeed regardless of gender or background, which will benefit both individual workers and businesses alike.
- Indeed, “Understanding job seeking behaviour in UK, US, Canada, France & Germany,” September 2022.
- “Understanding job seeking behaviour in UK, US, Canada & France” commissioned research by Curious Industries for Indeed, June 2022.