The Working Women of Newfoundland

In a province with the country’s second largest wage gap, 21 women help us understand the fight against gender discrimination in Newfoundland’s male-dominated workforce.

Women in Newfoundland make 70 cents for every dollar a man makes. As a resource development province, having an economy highly dependent on fisheries, lumber, mining and other high-income trades means that Newfoundland’s workforce has been historically male-dominated — a fact that can be seen in the province’s gender wage gap, the second largest in the country.

However, pay differences are not always reflected in hourly wages or paycheques; they come to exist through deeply rooted systems of nepotism, sexism, and outdated regulations.

In October 2019, True North Photo Journal sent me on assignment to document the wage gap in Newfoundland. Over ten days I recorded the stories of 21 working women across the island who are paving the way for the next generation. Their stories exemplify how women are breaking barriers, overcoming stereotypes, fight for financial stability, and rise against the systems of discrimination rooted in the island’s economic history.

Thank you to TNPJ Founder Cody Punter for trusting me with bringing this story to light, and for his hard work and dedication to Canadian photojournalism. Special thanks to my fixer Joann Greeley (Office to Advance Women Apprentices) for her hospitality and infectious passion for these issues. To Annie SakkabChris Donovan and Pee Kay for offering edits and sound advice always. And most importantly, to the women who opened their homes, lives and experiences to me, and trusting me to tell their stories. You were all so accommodating of my many wacky ideas and tight schedule, and for that I am eternally grateful. I hope this story aids in the fight for equality.

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