Gender wage gap stays wide in Canada

Monday, July 26 2010

June 12, 2007

OTTAWA - A new study has found little progress in closing the wage gap between young men and women.

The Statistics Canada study says the earnings gap between the sexes declined only moderately during the 1990s, despite a dramatic increase in the proportion of young women holding university degrees.

From 1991 to 2001, the proportion of 25- to 29-year-old women holding university degrees went to 34 per cent from 21 while the proportion of men with degrees in their 20s rose only moderately, to 21 per cent from 16.

Yet the gender earnings gap narrowed only slightly, in spite of this sharp increase in the proportion of young women with university degrees and the fact that university degree-holders generally earn more than other workers.

Women in their 20s earned 20 per cent less than men in 1991; by 2001, the gap had narrowed slightly to 18 per cent, primarily due to the higher qualifications among young women.

Statistics Canada says one reason for the disparity is that wage gaps among university graduates actually increased through the 1990s largely due to wage declines in female-dominated disciplines such as health and education, and wage increases in male-dominated disciplines, such as engineering, mathematics, computer sciences and physical sciences.

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