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Despite progress, N.S. women face wage gap [CA-NS]

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Canadian Press
Publication Date: 
16 Jun 2004

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More Nova Scotia working women are punching through the glass ceiling. The are rising to prominence in senior management, the well-paid professions, and other traditionally male jobs, all while balancing the household chores with their husbands, says a study released this week.

However, the report by the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women also notes many females are still more likely than men to be stuck in low-paying, part-time jobs.

Brigitte Neumann, the council's executive director, said in the past decade more women are becoming doctors, lawyers and managers. Over all, however, they are still vastly under-represented in the top 10 occupations, she said.

The study is based on Statistics Canada data.

It found women -- who now represent 47 per cent of the work force -- are much more likely to work part-time. In 2003, they represented 69 per cent of part-time workers.

About half of working-age women have jobs, up from just 36 per cent 25 years ago. That compares with 62 per cent of males.

The study also shows two-thirds of working women have children under the age of two.

Although gains are being made in the workplace, women working full-time are earning less than men. The wage gap remains substantial, with women taking home 71.6 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

NDP critic Marilyn More blamed policies of Nova Scotia's Tory government for the wage gap.

"We will never see wage equality until we see equality of opportunity," she said.

Ms. More said more education and child care spaces are needed so women can more easily enter the work force and find well-paying jobs.

Forty per cent of women and 33 per cent of men spend some amount of time caring for their children.

- reprinted from the Canadian Press