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July 4, 2017


APPI Professional Planners move closer to pay equity

Alberta is known for having one of the nation’s biggest wage gaps between women and men.  In 2015, the Alberta Professional Planners Institute (APPI) conducted our first independent compensation survey.  The survey revealed a mean annual wage gap between male and female planners of $13,690.  As an organization that values ethical practice, integrity and fair process, this gap initially came as a shock.  Additional analyses on the 2015 data concluded that:

“After examining compensation by gender within industry experience, respondent age, job title, professional status, employer type, number of employees managed, and hours worked per week, we conclude that the gap in compensation is based on gender and not any other demographic measure. The gender gap is most pronounced for those over 40 years of age or with more than 15 years of experience. This finding suggests that females are not, on average, paid less because as a group they have less experience. Even within the same years of experience, there appears to be disparity in compensation”  (2015 APPI Compensation Gender Analysis Report, page 2).  For a complete analysis of all the variables, it is important that the report is reviewed in its entirety.

Since 2015, APPI has been working diligently to share the message about the wage gap and educate members on how they can be part of the solution.  The Institute has actively shared this data with both the City of Calgary and the City of Edmonton and has spoken to students in university programs about negotiating salaries.  In October 2016, APPI’s then President, Misty Sklar, gave a well-attended presentation on Women and Planning at the annual conference in Jasper.  This year’s annual conference in Calgary, a joint venture between APPI and the Canadian Institute of Planners, featured a panel presentation on Women in Planning – A Candid Discussion.

APPI Council strategically decided to conduct the compensation survey bi-annually to measure changes and report back to the membership.  From the  2017 APPI Compensation Report, we can see that progress toward wage parity has been made in the past two years.

Gender Median Salary ($)  2015 Median Salary ($)  2017 Mean Salary ($)  2015 Mean Salary ($) 2017
Male 98,104 106,000 106,687 113,236
Female 90,750 100,000 92,997 98,334
Total 95,000 102,840 100,822 105,896
Gender Wage Gap 7,354 6,000 13,690 14,902
Gender Wage Gap 7.5% 5.6% 12.8% 13.2%

"This change in the wage gap is evidence of how data and advocacy can effect change.  We are pleased with the progress and look forward to seeing the disparity completely disappear within a couple of years,” says Erin O’Neill, APPI President.  “Our Institute can educate its members but it’s also up to major employers like the cities of Calgary and Edmonton and the Province of Alberta to be leaders in wage equality.”

APPI is a not-for-profit organization with over 1000 members, governed as a publicly accountable organization with obligations under the Alberta Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act and the Professional Planner Regulation, including adherence to a Code of Professional Conduct.  As part of our mandate we provide continuous professional learning activities for our members and the public, to help ensure that Alberta’s planners are current and up to date in planning theory and best practices.  For 56 years, Alberta's Registered Professional Planners have been designing great cities and communities throughout the province, by integrating diverse interests and developing plans and policies that adapt and respond to change.

MaryJane Alanko
Executive Director/Registrar


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APPI Mission Statement
We are the face of the planning profession within Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. 
​We serve the public interest by providing regulation, advocacy, promotion
and services for our members.

Alberta Professional Planners Institute
PO Box 3099
Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2T1
Phone: 780.435.8716
Toll Free: 888.286.8716
Fax: 780.452.7718
email: [email protected]
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