Over the decades, women have made great strides in all areas of society and have defeated and conquered the notion of superiority of the male gender as compared to the female gender, especially in western civilizations. In spite of this progress, Canadian women in the workplace have considerably lower annual earnings than their male counterparts. Specifically, women in Canada today make approximately 84 percent of what men make in terms of earned income. The difference in wages that men and women earn in the labor market partly reflects characteristics such as experience and education that they bring to the labor market. Despite the numerous empirical studies of wage determination and the occupational structure of the labor market, a sizeable portion of the differences in wages between men and women remains unexplained. In an effort to explain the male-female wage and earnings differentials, this paper will analyze the effects of some of the most important sources of wage differentiation including societal attitudes and expectations, continuity of work experience of the sexes, differences in productivity, differences in utility functions, differences in education, the impact of self-directed workgroups on compensation, and the effects of union membership. As a female, this gender gap in earnings is of particular concern to me because it demonstrates that perfect equality between men and women has not yet been attained. .
Societal Attitudes and Expectations.
A fundamental cause of the disparity in male and female employment compensation is that the man is traditionally viewed as the breadwinner, even in today's society. In this respect, his rate of pay is expected to reflect his responsibilities. It is assumed that women workers do not carry family financial burdens and therefore would be willing to accept lower pay. This is a reflection of societal attitudes and expectations whereby the major role of home making still rests upon the lady of the household.