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Women in the workforce: Here's how Canadian women are doing on the economic front

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Subramaniam, Vanmala
Publication Date: 
8 Mar 2017



Canada is still struggling for gender equality on the social, political, and economic front. A couple of key indicators highlighted below illustrate that while Canada is doing pretty alright when it comes to female participation in the workforce, we lag in other areas, specifically the number of women who are forced to take on part-time jobs because of childcare commitments.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet of where women stand economically in Canada, to keep handy when confronted with feminist naysayers:


  • 62% of Canadian females participate in the workforce
  • Canada has the highest female participation rate of G7 countries
  • Females earn 88 cents on average, for every $1 a male earns
  • Women account for 55% of jobs in the services sector, including low-wage industries like hospitality and food services
  • 25% of employed females hold part-time jobs, 12% of employed males hold part-time jobs
  • 16% of women who work part-time do so to take care of their children, as opposed to 3% of men
  • 60% of post-secondary students in Canada are female
  • 60% of science and technology graduates in Canada are female
  • Females with a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degree earn $9,100 less than male STEM graduates
  • Only 1 in 5 directors of large publicly listed companies in Canada are women


Source: Statistics Canada, Royal Bank of Canada

Among families with both parents working full time, women spend 49.8 hours per week on childcare, while men spend 27.2 hours per week.

As we privileged middle-class urbanites Instagram our work strikes, a quick reminder that the poverty rates of women of colour and aboriginal women are at 37 percent and 43 percent respectively, significantly below the average female poverty rate of 20 percent.

Another infuriating statistic from the Centre for Social Justice — a mere 11 percent of women  manage to break in to the top 20 percent of income earners in Canada, whereas 29 percent of men manage to move up the socio-economic ladder. Social mobility is clearly a problem among both genders, but it’s significantly worse when it comes to women.

According to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, women who interrupt their career to care for children or other family members have lower earnings. One of the studies the Foundation conducted found that women aged 40 who had interrupted their careers for at least three years to have children, were earning 30 percent less than women with no children.

So yes, lots of things are better women, but let’s just sit back for a moment and think about how many of us are still being penalized monetarily for procreating.

-reprinted from Vice News