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Pay Equity Ontario > English (Canada) > Learn More > Our Guides and Tools > Commonly Overlooked Features of Work

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Disclaimer: This fact sheet is for information only, and is not intended to restrict Review Officers or the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal in their determination of matters. Refer to the Pay Equity Act for exact in​terpretation.

One of the key requirements of the gender neutral evaluation of work for pay equity is to make women's work visible. One way of making women's and men's work more visible is to include features of work that are often forgotten or overlooked. Many of these features of work are associated with work traditionally done by women. This list may give you ideas for other aspects of work that have been overlooked or undervalued in your workplace.

When filling out a job description or questionnaire:

Make sure you include any of these items that fit your job.

When developing or using a job evaluation system:

Make sure that these items are evaluated by your system.


  • analytical reasoning
  • operating and maintaining several different types of office and manufacturing equipment
  • manual dexterity required for giving injections, typing, graphic arts
  • writing correspondence for others, proofreading and editing others' work
  • establishing and maintaining manual and automated filing systems, records management and disposal
  • training and orienting new staff
  • dispensing medication to patients
  • special body co-ordination or expert use of fingers and hands
  • reading forms
  • providing personal services such as arranging vacations, handling household accounts
  • using a variety of computer software and database formats
  • creating documents
  • communicating with upset, irate or irrational people
  • handling complaints
  • innovating - developing new procedures, solutions or products
  • co-ordinating a variety of responsibilities other than 'other staff or people'
  • developing or co-ordinating work schedules for others
  • deciding the content and format of reports and presentations

Effort - Mental and Physical

  • adjusting to rapid changes in office or plant technology
  • concentrating for prolonged periods at computer terminals, lab benches and manufacturing equipment
  • performing complex sequences of hand-eye co-ordination
  • providing service to several people or departments, working under many simultaneous deadlines
  • frequent lifting (e.g. office supplies, retail goods, lifting or turning sick or injured adults or children)
  • heavy lifting (e.g. packing goods for shipment)
  • frequent lifting and bending (e.g. child-care work)
  • long periods of travel and/or isolation
  • sitting for long periods of time at workstation, (e.g. while keyboarding)
  • irregular and/or multiple work demands


  • planning, problem solving, setting objectives and goals
  • caring for patients, children, institutionalized people
  • protecting confidentiality
  • acting on behalf of absent supervisors
  • representing the workplace through communications with clients and the public
  • supervising staff
  • shouldering responsibility for consequences of error in the workplace
  • preventing possible damage to equipment or people
  • managing petty cash
  • training and orienting new employees
  • keeping public areas such as waiting rooms and offices organized
  • handling new or unexpected situations
  • contacts with others - internally, externally

W​​orking Conditions

  • stress from open office noise, crowded conditions
  • exposure to disease and stress from caring for ill people; or physical or verbal abuse from irrational clients or patients
  • cleaning offices, stores, machinery, hospital wards
  • exposure to and disposal of body fluids
  • exposure to communicable diseases
  • exposure to dirt from office machines and supplies
  • exposure to eye strain from computer terminals
  • adjusting to a variety of working environments continuously

How do I get more help or in​​formation?

We are here to help. We can answer your questions by e-mail at or by phone at 416-314-1896, or toll-free at 1-800-387-8813 and at TTY Local: 416-212-3991 or TTY Toll-free: 1-855-253-8333.

​All communications are confidential.

ISBN: 0-7794-9545-4 (HTML)
ISBN: 0-7794-9546-2 (PDF)​