Canadian women make half a million dollars less than men over 20 years

Is this what equality is supposed to look like in the 21st century?

Working women earned half a million dollars less than men over the last two decades, according to new study from Statistics Canada.

Using tax data linked to 1991 Census data, the agency tracked individuals from 1991, when they were 26 to 35 years old, to 2010, when they were 45 to 54 years old.

Here's what Statistics Canada found:

  • Men with bachelor degrees earned $1.5 million over two decades while women earned just under a million dollars -- a gap of $544,300 or 36% less than men.
  • Men with college certificates earned $1.1 million over two decades while women earned  $643,200 -- a gap of $493,800 or 43% less than men.
  • Men with high school diplomas earned $882,300 over two decades while women earned $458,900 -- a gap of $423,400 or 48% less than men.

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Statistics Canada also broke down the data by field of postsecondary study, and found the gap is widest among men and women who hold a bachelor degree in engineering.

Male engineers earned $1,845,000 over two decades. Women, meanwhile, earned $972,600. The difference is a staggering $872,400 -- or 47% lower than men.

The gap is the smallest among men and women with a bachelor degree in education.

In education, men earned close to $1.3 million over two decades while women earned just a little over one million dollars. This works out to a gap of $245,800 -- or 19% less than their male colleagues.

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Looking at the change in earnings over time also gives us an idea of how much people's wages increase over the course of their careers.

Statistics Canada points out that men with a bachelor degree (in six of the nine fields) saw an increase in the range of $25,000 to $31,000 over two decades. Women, on the other hand, saw an increase of $20,000 to $28,000.

Here again, education and engineering stand out.

In the case of education, women's median annual salary increased by more $30,400 over the two decades (in 2010 constant dollars) compared to an increase of $27,000 for men. This is the only field in which women saw greater gains than men.

Women in engineering experienced the opposite, with the biggest gender discrepancy. Men saw their annual salary increase from $66,000 to $105,000 (in 2010 constant dollars) while women saw their salary increase by a mere $2,500, from $53,900 to $56,400.

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Photo: WackystuffUsed under a Creative Commons BY-2.0 licence.

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