International Women’s Day: #DoneWaiting for equality in the workplace

March 5, 2019

Canada’s Unions are marking International Women’s Day in 2019 with a bold message on the future of women and work: women are #DoneWaiting for fairness at work. It’s time to expose what it’s like #BeingAWomanAtWork and demand changes to help make workplaces and working life better for women.

#DoneWaiting is a campaign for women’s economic justice. Launched one year ago, the campaign began with a call for federal government action to end sexual harassment and violence, fix the child care crisis, and end wage discrimination.

After months of digital actions and lobbying, we had a major victory in December of 2018: pay equity became the law in Canada. The new Pay Equity Act requires all federally-regulated employers to create proactive pay equity plans and will introduce a new federal Pay Equity Commissioner.

“This is an historic moment for women in Canada”, said Marie Clarke Walker, Secretary-Treasurer of the CLC, “There’s still work to do on the regulations before the Act comes into force, but the Act’s adoption is a testament to what can be achieved when we are united in our fight for women’s economic justice.”

We’ve made progress toward an end to sexual harassment and violence. Seven provinces, as well as the federal government, have introduced paid domestic violence leave, and new federal occupational health and safety legislation offers better protections for workers who experience violence and harassment at work.

“We’ve seen that our messages are being heard and we are making progress. Let’s celebrate how far we’ve come. Also remember: we’re not done yet.” said Clarke Walker.

With a federal election on the horizon, Canada’s unions are expanding the conversation about women’s economic justice by looking more closely at the issue of working life and workplace culture. We want women’s voices at the centre as we consider our next calls to action. So we are asking women to share their stories about #BeingAWomanAtWork. Even though study after study shows that more women in the workforce will help grow the economy and improve everyone’s lives, we know that the working world isn’t working for women.

Too many women still face significant barriers to success at work. Many have trouble finding a good job or advancing at their workplace, and many more struggle with low-wage, precarious work.

“It’s time for leadership to reduce barriers for women’s labour force participation” said Clarke Walker, “There is a role for our federal government, employers, and unions to play. We must work together and ensure that the future of women and work means good jobs and fair treatment for all, especially for the most marginalized.”

Everyone has a story. Speak up now and help us keep up the pressure for change in 2019.

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