Is This The Way To Mandate Equal Pay?

Oh Canada, you're doing equal pay right.

Clothing, Public space, City, Tree, Tourism, Pedestrian, Walking, Thoroughfare, Sidewalk, Medieval architecture,
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The U.S. may still be paying women77 cents to every man's dollar (opens in new tab), but in our neighboring country, things are looking up for equal pay. At McGill University in Quebec, Canada, a revolutionary equal pay program (opens in new tab) mandated by Quebec law has been launched to secure wage equality, the Wall Street Journal reported (opens in new tab). The university is taking on this lofy task by ensuring that one gender dominating a certain profession doesn't mean that they're making less (or more) than others in positions of a similar caliber. In simpler terms, if the program says that administrative assistants, a job typically dominated by females, deserved equal compensation to a male dominated job, such as landscaping, then the two should be paid equally, regardless of gender.

McGill's program wasn't a quick fix to the big problem that is the gender pay gap: it took 13 years and over 19 million U.S. dollars to develop. But its benefits were seen this past February when the university sent out checks covering back pay and raises for full-time university employees that were deemed "underpaid" by the program's standards. The university determined who deserved an income adjustment by grouping roles in "job classifications" that would help to determine an equal and adequate salary.

However, the unveiling of this program is only the beginning. The university has yet to look at male-dominated jobs and see if their salaries measure up, too. What they're hoping now is that making big adjustments in the present will lessen the need for similar sized modifications in the future.

I'm an Associate Editor at the Business of Fashion, where I edit and write stories about the fashion and beauty industries. Previously, I was the brand editor at Adweek, where I was the lead editor for Adweek's brand and retail coverage. Before my switch to business journalism, I was a writer/reporter at PEOPLE.com, where I wrote news posts, galleries and articles for PEOPLE magazine's website. My work has been published on TheAtlantic.com, ELLE.com, MarieClaire.com, PEOPLE.com, GoodHousekeeping.com and in Every Day with Rachael Ray. It has been syndicated by Cosmopolitan.com, TIME.com, TravelandLeisure.com and GoodHousekeeping.com, among other publications. Previously, I've worked at VOGUE.com, ELLE.com, and MarieClaire.com.