Bellefontain, Alberta, is the most-educated province in Canada, with an average of more than two years of college education, according to Statistics Canada.
It also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, at 5.3 per cent.
It’s also the only province in the Northwest Territories with no provincial-wide unemployment rate.
That may explain why the province’s highest paid employee is a female, with a salary of $136,924.
In the job market, there are more than 200 job postings for the position of Bellefontaine’s senior examiner, and about 300 job listings for Bellefontain’s deputy examiner, said Diane Joly, an assistant regional examiner in Bellemont, Que.
Joly is the first female in the position and the only one who has been in the province for more than 15 years.
The job posting does not list a salary, but Joly says it is “not a lot” and it’s “a little bit of a stretch” to expect a salary that would cover her travel, housekeeping and the cost of living.
“I think the typical job posting is a little bit under $100,000 for a person with that kind of experience,” she said.
In an interview with CBC News, Joly said the average salary in the region is $130,000, although some positions in the area pay much more.
“There are a few, but most of them are pretty low,” she added.
The pay disparity between women and men is especially pronounced in the industry, said Joly.
“Women have been working in this field for a long time, and women have been there for longer periods of time,” she explained.
“They are more likely to have been trained in the field.”
The pay gap also exists in other sectors.
“We have a lot of women working in the construction sector, in the auto industry,” said Jody.
“But there is also a lot more women working on the farm.
We have to make sure we are keeping up with the needs of women and that we are supporting them.”
The gender pay gap varies widely across industries.
The National Occupational Classification System (NOCS) says that in 2017, men earned 77 per cent of the average annual salary, while women earned 63 per cent, according the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
“The gender pay disparity is not only in the health and social services industry, but also in the energy sector, where there is a lot discrimination,” said Jennifer Joly from the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development at the University of Alberta.
“It’s very common in the oil and gas industry for women to earn less than men,” she continued.
“A lot of the men who are doing this are just very high earners.”
Joly also said the lack of female managers in the provincial government was a problem.
“In terms of the female employees, it’s pretty bad.
The gender balance in government is very uneven, and that is really what we’re dealing with,” she told CBC News.
“What we have to do is get more women into the government.”
Jody said she wanted to be the first woman in the department and had the confidence to take the job.
“My parents wanted me to be in law enforcement.
They were very proud of me,” she recalled.
“So, I wanted to do the right thing and go for it.”
While she’s confident she will land the job, Jody says she still has some concerns.
“Is the pay for me really right?” she asked.
“That’s what I want to know.
I want it to be fair, but I also want it not to be too much.
I don’t want to be just making money.”