Equal pay – A guiding principle

Achieving gender parity is an important part of being a truly inclusive and equitable organization. One of Sun Life’s five guiding principles for compensation is to support fairness for all employees and reward top performance. We’re committed to ensuring managers make unbiased, performance-driven pay decisions and regularly review pay by gender.

In 2019, we analyzed total average pay by gender, for roles within the same levels in Canada. We found no difference in pay at the Vice-President and Senior Vice-President levels and less than 2% difference among management and professional roles. The small differences were mainly due to differences in roles and demographic factors such as geographic location, as the cost of talent varies across Canada.

To monitor and address even small pay gaps, every year we review by gender:

  • base salary increases
  • individual performance incentive awards
  • long-term incentive grants

We found no systemic gender bias in the proportion of women and men who received annual and long-term incentives, or in the performance-based values of those incentives.

Research coverage on Sun Life
Role1 Female % Relative to Male Average Total Pay2
Vice-President, Senior Vice-President 100%
Management – Seasoned Professional 98%
Professional, Administrative and Operational 99%

We also introduced a new tool in 2019 for managers to use during the annual compensation cycle. The tool shows managers how their decisions compare across women and men for performance distribution, salary adjustments, annual incentive awards and long-term incentive grants. As data becomes available, we are expanding this pay analyses for other diverse groups.

1 Calculated for full-time, Canadian-based employees only, excluding those in front-line sales or participating in specialized incentive plans
2 Includes base salary, annual incentive awards and long-term incentive grants (where applicable)