University students take their graduation hats off and hold them in the air in celebration. Women can expect something less than equal treatment in pay from here on out. (istock)

Gender wage gap in Canada tends to begin at graduation

Given any thought to the gender pay gap lately?

The Labour Market Information Council and the Educational Policy Research Initiative did.

They’ve just released a report based on figures from Statistics Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada.

“How Much Do They Make?” analyzes the income of 2010 graduates from publicly funded colleges and universities in Canada for the five years following graduation, when the most recent data is available.

Anyone want to take a guess about the results?

It seems that the pay gender gap is pretty deeply embedded in society’s collective hard drive, starting graduation day.

New statistics show that the gender wage gap begins at graduation. (istock)

To wit: the report found that women earn an average of $5,700, or 12 per cent less than men one year after graduation.

And, the CBC’s Brandie Weikle writes in a story published Tuesday, that gap widens to 25 per cent five years after graduation, when women make an average of $17,700 less than men across all disciplines.


Labour economist Stephen Tobin, of the Labour Market Information Council, told Weikle that he, for one, was “startled” by the figures.

“What surprised me the most was that in looking at the earnings by credential and field of study, women earn less than men in every credential and every field of study,” he said.

“There isn’t one combination of a credential and a field of study where women earn more than men five years after graduation.”

New figures show a big difference in what men and women make in their first five years after their post-secondary education. (istock)

Noting that women make 87 cents on the dollar compared to men on an hourly basis, Andrea Gunraj, vice-president of public engagement for the Canadian Women’s Federation, told Weikle there are a number of causes for the gap beginning right off the bat.

“The statistics tell us that the discrimination happens even at hiring, when pay decisions are being made,” Gunraj said.

“It’s happening with things like access to mentorship, training and promotion moments–the wage gap is still persisting.”

The report analyzed the early career earnings of post-secondary education (PSE) graduates with college-level certificates and diplomas and bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees in 11 fields of study that include Education, Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business, Sciences, Math and Computer Science, Engineering, Natural Resources, Health, and Personal and Protective Services.

With files from CBC (Brandie Weikle)

Categories: Economy, Politics, Society
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