A new top executives report adds evidence that women face "double panel glass" at the top of Canada's corporate scale – first in getting an executive package and sometimes earning just as much as their male counterparts.
The Canadian Policy Alternatives Center calculates that out of over 1,200 appointed executive officers (NEOs) in 249 traded companies in Canada, women earn about 68 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts.
The study says the gap is closing at 86 cents when women and men's salaries are considered in senior management roles, almost in line with the country's total salary of 87 cents based on Canada's calculations.
The gap at the top means that on average, men earn around $ 950,000 more per year than women in similar executive positions.
The report's author says that the findings, although focused on the executive level, where wages are already high, point to a larger capital problem.
Executive executives make 197 times more pay than an average worker
"This is surely for CEOs – that's what we're looking at – but I think it's a reflection of what's happening in corporate Canada and the difficulties women face in getting a fair tie even if they have the qualifications," said David McDonald, senior economist at the center.
The findings are linked to the annual report by the left-wing pay center of Canada's top executives, who are estimated to earn what an average worker does over a year from lunch time around Wednesday.
A review of corporate filings of publicly traded companies shows that chief executives earned an average of $ 10 million in 2017, the latest year available, or about 197 times the average worker.
An earlier analysis of The Canadian Press, cited in the Center's report, revealed a similar gap between the 60 companies in the world that are traded in the public. A record of 312 NEOs entries showed just 25 women and they earned an average of 64 cents for every dollar made by male colleagues.
Interviews with around a dozen perpetrators have revealed a number of reasons.
Employment of old boys
They told the Canadian press about how companies rely on the "old boys" club for executive searches. They also talked about how outdated and inviolable corporate culture in some companies leaves women out of the highest jobs or fail to provide support in the workplace. Directors also mentioned that women's trust and risk are lacking, an issue that is highlighted in academic research on executive pay.
McDonald's report nullifies three questions:
- Several women are CEOs – about four percent of Canadian executives and 10 percent of top executives are women – where wages are the highest.
- "Paying Success" given to top executives – stocks, stock options or cash prizes based on how the company is performing – is predominantly higher for men than for women. Eliminating the bonus payoff from the equation reduces the gap to 82 cents, or almost the gap in the wider workforce.
- Companies with more women in the executive tend to be smaller organizations and therefore pay less than their larger counterparts, McDonald said.
The securities legislation issued in 2017 created a model that "respects or explains" about diversity in corporate boards, rather than setting quotas on the number of women, for example. McDonald's report, citing a decade of data from Norway, where quotas increased the number of women on board, suggests that quotas are not the answer to closing the pay gap.