How do women know if they're being paid less than men?

A local pub’s 13 per cent discount in the name of equity has left some women questioning: how exactly are they being affected by the wage gap?

Diners gather to discuss the gender wage gap at a London pub offering a discount to women customers

Natalie Currie, left, and Heather Campbell, were at The Morrissey House Monday night where a promotion aims to highlight the gender wage gap by giving women a 13 per cent discount. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

A local pub's promotion that offers women a 13 per cent discount in the name of equity has left some women questioning: how do they know if they're being affected by the wage gap?

Finding answers can be difficult.

Natalie Currie, an elementary school teacher in London, said she doesn't know how to figure out if she's being paid less than her male counterparts.

"It's frustrating. We know this is happening. We know this is not OK. What's the next step?" said Currie, who visited the Morrissey House on Monday night.

Amanda Sharp is asking for more transparency in the workplace in order to have comfortable conversations surrounding gender equity. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

Monday was the Dundas Street pub's first day of offering the discount to women, a nod to the gender pay gap that Statistics Canada leaves women earning 87 cents an hour for every dollar made by men. 

The Monday discount has sparked a possible human rights complaint by a man upset he doesn't get a similar break on his meal. 

Women and men were at The Morrissey House on Monday to support the promotion, dubbed Mind the Gap. The conversation was largely focused on workplace transparency.

"I wouldn't know [if I'm being paid less] unless I'm asking the people around me what I'm being paid and it's a touchy subject to sometimes even have that conversation – money and finances," said Heather Campbell, who's preparing for job interviews in the construction and insurance sectors.

"Even if you ask questions. You may not get very far."

"Why aren't we talking about wages? Why isn't it an open discussion at work?" added Amanda Sharp, who works in insurance in London.

Men come out in support of pub, women

Mario Longtion, left, and Leif Harmsen said they support The Morrissey House and its 13 per cent discount for women, which highlights the gender pay gap. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

Mario Longtion and Leif Harmsen were initially headed to another bar on Monday until they read about the promotion first reported by CBC News.

"We like to support the idea. We appreciate that kind of social conscience," said Harmsen. "Women get the short end of the stick. It's outrageous … It's inexcusable."

Human rights complaint

The man who complained to Morrissey House staff about the promotion said he would file a formal gender discrimination complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

But officials said an application like that had not been processed on Monday, and would likely take time to go through.

Canadian women's average annual earnings have been about 70 per cent of men's since the early 1990's, according to a report by the OHRC.

The report says several cases before the human rights tribunal show that women continue to face discrimination in employment such as receiving "less pay for work of equal value or hitting a glass ceiling when trying to move into higher positions of responsibility."