By Vancouver Sun |

Women in B.C. are earning on average almost 20 per cent less an hour than men, the largest gender pay gap in Canada.

A Statistics Canada report released Monday showed that, on average, Canadian women earned $4.13 or 13.3 per cent less than their male counterparts, with women in B.C. facing the largest gap, 18.9 per cent, followed by women in Alberta, 17.6 per cent. P.E.I. was the only province where there was no wage gap between the sexes.

The report found that Canadian women aged 25-54 earned on average $26.92 an hour in 2018 while men earned on average $31.05, a difference of 13.3 per cent. In 1998, the difference was 18.8 per cent. The average wage for a man in B.C. in 2018 was $31.73 compared with $25.83 for a woman.

“Given that women in Canada have surpassed men in educational achievement, diversified their fields of study at post-secondary institutions and increased their representation in higher-status occupations, the persistence of gender-based wage inequality warrants continued attention,” the report states.

The reduction in the gender gap was attributed to changes in the distribution of men and women across occupations, increased academic achievements by women and a fall in the share of men in unionized employment.

Factors that led to the continued gaps were the number of women working part-time and the distribution of men and women across industries, with construction, manufacturing and mining remaining higher-paid male-dominated industries.

The report, funded by the federal department for Women and Gender Equality Canada, stated that just over half the gender wage gap in B.C. could be explained — primarily because of the prevalence of male-dominated industries — but the balance was unexplained.

“As seen in the national results, gender differences in occupation and industry were an important factor in explaining the wage cap in 2018 in all provinces with a wage gap. Gender differences in human capital and job attributes generally counteracted the gender wage gap, leaving a notable portion of the provincial gaps unexplained,” the report stated.

dcarrigg@postmedia.com

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