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Gender Equity in the Workplace: A Comparison of Canada and Sweden


  • Mark Harcourt



This paper argues that New Zealand needs a coherent approach to gender equity and that the experiences of other countries provide some evidence of which policies work and in what circumstances. For this purpose, the Canadian and Sli1edish approaches to gender equity are compared. Swedish policy is found to be more effective than Canadian policy, but only in narrowing the gender pay gap. Furthermore, it is argued that the ideological incompatibilities of Swedish social democracy and Canadian liberalism would make it difficult for Canadians to emulate even this one dimension of Swedish success. The remainder of the paper examines the common failings of both Canadian and Swedish approaches to gender equity, and, on this basis, makes suggestions for future Canadian reforms which might also prove valuable to New Zealanders in establishing their own approach to gender equity.


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Author Biography

Mark Harcourt,