Culture and Status of Women supports and promotes Government of Alberta policies and programs to increase women's economic security and prosperity.
Alberta women generally earn higher hourly wages than women in other provinces. They also earn less on average than Alberta men for the same or substantially similar work. The pay gap between men and women is about 40%.
Women’s wages also tend to cluster at the bottom end of the pay scale. They are about 60% of minimum wage earners, more likely to work part time and overrepresented in low-paying careers. This happens even though Alberta women tend to be highly educated.
The result is many Alberta women face barriers that make it harder for them to get fair pay, advance in their careers or start a business. Some of these barriers can be dealt with at the level of government. These include:
- Working to identify and reduce barriers that limit women from being in the workforce or earning their fair share. Addressing the gender pay gap is a complex issue that requires multiple policy interventions, including improving accessibility to affordable child care, enhancing parental and domestic violence leaves, and shifting the cultural norms that under value the work in sectors dominated by women.
- Working with Children's Services on a child care pilot program. Women in Alberta spend twice as many hours on unpaid work like chores and child care as men. That extra burden stops some women from reaching their goals – or providing enough for their families. Access to high-quality affordable child care can help more mothers enter the workforce or advance in their careers while knowing their children are getting the best possible start to life.
- Supporting women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Small business owners employ about 95% of Albertans. Women entrepreneurs can add another $2 billion to the national economy by increasing their revenue by 20%. Getting women the support they need to expand their businesses is good for women and good for Alberta.
- Joining government partners on strategies to reduce poverty. One way to reduce poverty is to increase the minimum wage. Alberta's minimum wage will increase to $15/hour by October 2018. Raising minimum wage will help lead women out of lower-income situations.
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