What is Pay Equity


Pay equity is equal pay for work of equal or comparable value. It is about the value of jobs traditionally and predominantly held by women.
To ensure pay equity, one compares the value of jobs traditionally or predominantly held by women (or female jobs) to the value of jobs traditionally or predominantly held by men (or male jobs).

The comparison is based on four factors:
  • skill,
  • responsibility,
  • effort, and
  • working conditions.
A female job which is approximately equal in value to a male job must be subject to the same pay rate.

For example:
Say we compare the pay given to a secretary (a job traditionally done by women) and a technician (a job mostly done by men).
Pay inequity contributes to the wage gap, but so do those other factors. However, a study by economist Ather Akbari (2004) showed that 80% of the wage gap in New Brunswick is due to discrimination.
In 2015, in New Brunswick (according to Statistics Canada, 2016):
  • Average hourly rate for MEN: $22.82
  • Average hourly rate for WOMEN: $20.95
  • The hourly wage gap between men and women was therefore $1,87 in 2016.
  • Women's average hourly wage was 91.8% of men's.


Equal pay or wage parity is defined as equal pay for equal work.

For example:
  • Men and women working as nurses receive the same pay.
  • Professors at a university in New Brunswick receive the same pay as their counterparts in Nova Scotia.


At the recruitment, hiring, and promotion stages, employment equity aims at developing a representative workforce and eliminating discrimination against the members of certain designated groups such as aboriginal peoples, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, and women.
For example:
A company would ensure that its workforce is proportionately representative of the four groups mentioned above.


One of our summer student projects in 2017 was the creation of this video series by Catherine Roy-Comeau and Christine Hughes. The videos are each approximately 2 minutes in length and explore the subject of pay equity in New Brunswick.

The videos are available on the Coalition's Youtube channel. Share these in your social media networks, by email, with your external network, and even in classes or presentations!

The videos are as follows:

  1. What is Pay Equity?
  2. What is gender-based predominance?
  3. The 4 Factors for Determining the Value of a Job
  4. Pay Equity vs Wage Parity
  5. Is there Pay Equity Legislation in New Brunswick?
  6. Pay Equity: From Promises to Reality
  7. 6 Advantages to Having Pay Equity Policy
  8. Pay Equity: A Human Right

The videos are also available in French.

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New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity Inc. © 2020