Why Maclean's is asking men to pay 26% more for our latest issue - Macleans.ca

Why Maclean’s is asking men to pay 26% more for our latest issue

Pay equity is having its moment as the next beat in the cadence of the #MeToo movement. We hope this issue will stir urgent conversation already happening around the world.


This month, Maclean’s has created two covers with two different prices—one at $8.81, the other at our regular price of $6.99—to reflect the 26 per cent gap between full-time wages paid to men and women in Canada.

It’s a cheeky way to draw attention to a gap that has barely budged in decades, but we’re not the first to do this.

In 2016, a group of students at the University of Queensland in Australia put on a bake sale. They called it the Gender Pay Gap Bake Sale, and they priced their cupcakes higher for men than women to illustrate Australia’s pay equity gap. The fierce social media backlash (“Kill all women” and “Females are f–king scum, they should be put down as babies” and “I want to rape these feminist c–ts with their f–king baked goods”) was so horrific it made international headlines. When we discussed the story during our Maclean’s news meeting at the time, we wondered what would happen if we tried it here in Canada.

So let’s see, shall we? After years of stasis, pay equity is having its moment as the next beat in the cadence of the #MeToo movement. Our hope is that these dual covers stir the kind of urgent conversation here that is already happening elsewhere around the world.

In England, Carrie Gracie, the BBC’s China editor, resigned earlier this year when her pay was revealed to be at least 50 per cent less than her two male counterparts, saying, “My managers had yet again judged that women’s work was worth much less than men’s.” #istandwithcarrie trended on Twitter.

In Iceland, after women walked out of work at precisely 2:38 p.m.—a full workday minus 30 per cent, to illustrate the pay gap there—the country enacted a new law that makes it mandatory for companies with 25 or more employees to show they provide equal pay.

WATCH: Canadian women on the gender pay gap, and how we can fix it

Glaring pay inequality in Hollywood has also stoked outrage—from Michelle Williams being paid 1,500 times less than co-star Mark Wahlberg to reshoot portions of All the Money in the World, to Grey’s Anatomy actress Ellen Pompeo revealing how she negotiated to become the highest-earning actress on TV. “If we’re going to invoke change,” Pompeo said, “that has to be part of it.”

MORE: In Hollywood many women are paid shockingly less than men

In Canada, estimates for the pay equity gap range from eight per cent to as high as 50 per cent, depending on what you’re measuring (we went with 26 per cent for the cover as that Statistics Canada number compares full-time working women with full-time working men, a broad comparison capturing most workers in Canada). Important pay equity cases are being brought forward by women at Canada Post and the Ontario Provincial Police, and this year, the federal government promises to introduce long-awaited pay equity legislation for federally regulated industries.

Of course, setting a two-tiered magazine price for men and women reduces the complexity of gender at a time when society is only beginning to understand and embrace it. (Readers can of course choose to pay whichever cover price they want.) Research into the transgender pay gap is just beginning, but we know the gap is largest for women of colour and Indigenous women. With that in mind, the $1.82 differential in our cover prices this month is being donated to those for whom the pay gap is most extreme.

MORE: For transgender women the pay equity gap is even wider 

Last year, Indspire, an Indigenous-led charity that invests in Indigenous education, donated almost $12 million through 3,764 scholarships and bursaries to Indigenous students across Canada. It has agreed to direct Maclean’s readers’ contributions toward a scholarship for an Indigenous woman.

In the unknowable years that sit between the wage inequity of now and the moment that young woman enters the workforce, quite possibly the fiscal roots of the power imbalance will have finally been shaken. Can she hope to earn the same wage as the man sitting one desk over?

She will deserve nothing less.


Why Maclean’s is asking men to pay 26% more for our latest issue

  1. I’m glad I don’t waste my money on Maclean’s magazine in the first place. Have fun with your propaganda BS.

    • Agreed. This is a ridiculous and shallow attempt at public manipulation. What has happened at
      Maclean’s recently? I would not spend a penny for this magazine and I am a woman. As a school teacher who doesn’t make that much I find your examples of inequity in Hollywood despicable since most of the time people like Michelle Williams make more money in 2 months of work than I will in my lifetime. A ridiculous and obvious attempt at gaining the attention of your audience which I suspect is getting smaller and smaller because of this and other recent articles which are often written by people out on the fringe and presented as fact.

  2. Media is propaganda.

    Every article today is about gender pay inequity. That deluge doesn’t make the argument true or provide the evidence to support it.

    Prove it with data compiled by unbiased researchers using the scientific method.

    Create a chart showing all jobs, years of service, percentage of employees by gender, and wage by gender.

    That should show who is contributing to societal needs and who is cherry picking and complaining about it.

    Dig a ditch….

  3. $6.99 for me!

    Nah. I’m still not buying.

    I don’t read Maclean’s. And this little charade is embarrassing. The issue is more serious than this.

    When your magazine isn’t doing well, you do risk some tings, and take flyers like this.

  4. Not to be outdone by captain progressive Trudeau’s “peoplekind” comment last week, Macleans had to beat their progressive leader to the bottom by promoting the wage gap disparity myth that has been proven false time and time again.
    Paying people less for the same work because of gender,race, etc etc has been illegal for years.

    • “Paying people less for the same work because of gender,race, etc etc has been illegal for years.”
      And yet .. it happens … all the time….

      • Proof please. Let’s see your evidence.

      • And in late-breaking news, all companies are firing their male employees and replacing them with female employees because they can pay them 26% less and still get the same amount of work for that pay.

        Oh. Shit. They’re not getting the same amount of work for 26% less money. Damn.

  5. You have so missed the point of equality, I would say you have done your cause irreparable harm, but it is not your cause, is it? You are just following hashtags, and frankly, breaking the law. We have anti discrimination laws in this country and this is a flagrant middle finger to the rule of law. If you are not held legally responsible for this then our country is in desperate times. You are a sexist rag and I am sure when this type of behaviour leads to the terrible and inevitable backlash you will be there, being a bigot to whatever the newest flavour of the week is. I am a liberal (was a liberal before this radical coup hijacked my party, don’t know what I am now…)and I am appalled, for shame, Macleans you have dirtied a good cause with your rabble rousing for profit. I have only been following this travesty of opinion pieces you call a news magazine to see how far you will go, but this is too much, this is Canada! we oppose bigotry, we oppose Macleans. We obviously need more oversight for our media outlets. Read your comments, we are done with this behaviour.

    • You might oppose bigotry but it is alive and well in Canada. So is gender discrimination, bullying, pay inequilities and men just being a##holes towards women.

      • Right; you’re wonderful but other people are awful; and companies like to pay more than they have to for the same amount of work ….

  6. The wage gap? Seriously? This has been debunked countless times. It takes the slightest bit of research to factually conclude that the 26% discrepancy between men and women is mostly attributed to people that don’t understand how to analyze statistics.
    Here, I’ll do it for you Maclean’s: https://www.forbes.com/sites/karinagness/2016/04/12/dont-buy-into-the-gender-pay-gap-myth/#10dde4712596
    To be honest with you, the only reason that I frequent this website is due to the quality of the commentators and not any of Maclean’s actual content itself.

  7. Well it appears that Macleans did not learn from the play a year or two ago that tanked after trying this very same thing with entrance pricing. Instead of treating women as victims maybe treat them as the equals they are.

  8. Any male that purchases this magazine has a bad case of self-loathing. Pathetic….

    • Exactly.

      Look at all the taxpayer funded programs and support groups for women and girls, affirmative action etc.

      Meanwhile boys and men get less than nothing. A good dose of shame and self loathing. That which makes us men is discouraged.

      Some weak males have even switched sides. We see them everywhere. Their disorder a protected human right.

      Change is coming. Support the elimination of corruption.

  9. Do let us know how that works out, e.g. how many men paid the higher price. You’ll be sure to let us know, right?

  10. 26%? Usually the lie is lower. The problem with this lie is that too many people know too many people in jobs with set wages- governments & unions or self employed. Let’s say that’s 2/3s of workers. Who is paying men 70% more for doing the same job that they have women doing? The answer is no one.

    Think about it. Why would I pay Bill X when Mary would do the same job for half as much? No sane businessman would because the competition would hire Mary and cut their prices and take Bill’s business.

    If you’re going to make up numbers do a better job.

  11. Bunk. No real, unbiased proof behind this at all. With a skirt wearing pm it will always be biased from the left.

  12. http://www.aei.org/publication/there-really-is-no-gender-wage-gap-there-is-a-gender-earnings-gap-but-paying-women-well-wont-close-that-gap/

    “The gender pay gap does not exist because men and women are paid less for the same jobs, it exists because men and women tend to do slightly different jobs. When equal jobs being done out there is reached then we will have gender pay parity. Because, as before, we already have the same pay for the same job.”

    • and work different hours when they do the same job ….

  13. Oh this is rich!!!
    Roger Communication, who own Macleans, lists 10 KEY executives. Of those 10, only 1 is a woman.
    So look Macleans — if your going to complain about inequality — you should get your own house in order first.

  14. Boy, this article went over like a fart in a space suit!!!

  15. Transparent attempt at turning the attention away from the rightful backlash the me too movement generates.

    Last time I will spend a penny on your rag.

    BTW, the pay gap is a myth and it’s illegal to discriminate.

  16. Stop with the identity politics Marxist dogma. There is not a shred of evidence to support the idea that women get paid less for doing the same job. Even the definition of “same job” is virtually impossible to define. Men in agrigate get paid more because they are under intense biological pressure to do so in order to attract a desirable mate. This makes them work longer hours and take on more unpleasant and riskier work. This is NOT the same as being paid less for the sake work. Women are more than welcome to unclog toilets, collect garbage and install high power lines too.

  17. Judging by some of the comments, it is becoming quite evident that we need to have this discussion, and soon. I cannot believe that people can outrightly condone this kind of sexual discrimination. But then I cannot believe that Canadians voted for Harper…Twice. I now know that my estimation of Canadians being somewhat higher evolved than our American cousins is somewhat misplaced.

    • If you now believe you are not “higher evolved” than others, you are less of the problem than you were.

    • Wow I cant believe that people didn’t vote for Harper, I mean look at how wonderfully everything is going under Trudeau (hahahahahahaha we are so screwed with him running the country)

      • So true!! Harper was a far superior leader to Mr. Fancy Socks!!

    • “I cannot believe that people can outrightly condone this kind of sexual discrimination.”

      I absolutely agree. I think it is shocking that men are being asked to pay more for the identical product simply because they are men.

  18. Now I know which magazine I’ll never buy again. So a male university student buying this magazine will be subsidizing a wealthy female lawyer who buys it. What are you thinking?

    Maclean’s is a national embarrassment, putting out an article based on propaganda and faulty reading of statistics.
    Equal pay for equal work has been law for many years. What is pay equity?? Has anyone defined it? If it’s work of equal value, who will decide?
    And why is Hollywood part of this discussion? It’s another planet! Are we really concerned with how many fewer millions some female stars are paid than their male counterparts? They have agents that negotiate their fees – fees that are not based on their ovaries but on many other factors.

    This has no bearing on the average working person.

    The scope of your propaganda is enough to choke an elephant. And this campaign will only add to the resentment and marginalization of men.
    Have a good re-think about this strategy; it’s one BAD BAD idea.

  19. My wife sent me out to buy a copy. What do I pay??

    • I recommend you buy your wife a copy of “Why Men Earn More” by Warren Farrell and just let Macleans die.

  20. You can’t put a majority of this on anyone but the women themselves, at least in the Western World. They need to make different choices to bring up their pay. That isn’t on men or even other women. A vast majority of this imaginary ‘pay gap’ is based on personal choice (to ask for more pay or not, to interrupt their career, career choice, etc.) or is market driven. I.E.; the women’s soccer team getting much less for winning because the audience isn’t near the size of the audience for the male teams. Therefore ad revenue and investment is much less. That is then reflected.

  21. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

  22. “Can she hope to earn the same wage as the man sitting one desk over?”

    If she works as hard as he does, she will. Which has been true for decades. But you’re going to pretend that isn’t true for the sake of your narrative.

  23. Wow just when I thought journalism could not get any dumber. If this is the case as a business owner and tax payer, I will get rid of all the men in my workforce suggest Macleans and the government do the same and save everyone…business owners shareholders and tax payers 26%! And all you girls get to work. By the way Macleans I won’t be buying anymore of your magazines

  24. The pay gap statistic so often cited (that women make 79 cents for every dollar a man makes) is based on averages women’s pay for all jobs, and men’s pay for all jobs. It’s not a per-job statistic. There is no statistic that women teachers make 79 cents for every dollar a male teacher makes, or women lawyers make79 cents for every dollar a male lawyer makes and so on. When you look at the same job the gap is anywhere from 0 to 5%, depending on the job, and in some jobs women earn more. So in short, the wisdom that there is a pay gap is myth.

  25. This issue is laughable. A multi varied analysis of the supposed pay inequity proves it is not there. Please see the interview of Jordan Peterson vs Cathy Newman. If women choose to have a better work/life balance by working fewer hours, making other aspects of life more important than work, or choosing lower paying and more rewarding careers, good for them; its not the patriarchy; grow up. Macleans is being deliberately dishonest. So many female GenX friends of mine are now in their early 40s and having a family is not possible anymore. Feminism has been the most misogynistic force in their lives; robbing them of the most meaningful experience a human being can have.

  26. It’s amazing that you have all these intelligent commentators – highlighting the disingenuous way this phenomenon gets covered – yet outlets like macleans and many others constantly lie and misrepresent this topic. The reasons for the wage gap have been extensively covered and analyzed for decades and they have been found to have virtually nothing to do with discrimination, yet nonsense like this continues to come. The US Department of labor, countless economists, researchers, honest academics without an agenda, the myriad of sources showing the fallacious nature of articles like this just doesn’t seem to matter. The issue continues to be pushed as propaganda, not honest reporting. Macleans should be ashamed of itself for lying to its readership.

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