Gender Differences in Canada

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Canada: Gender Differences

Canada has received great ratings when it comes to areas of health and education for women. However, there still seems to be a major gap in politics and income equality as men. In the 2012 Global Gender Gap report, Canada was one of the 12% of countries that fell backwards in gender inequality. (Black, 2012) Even though the overall economic status of women in improving, some markers seem to be stagnant, or even declining. Some of these are high school enrollment for girls was 4% lower than enrollment for boys. Meanwhile, women’s labor force participation has been stagnant for four years. Also, wage equality has declined by 3% since 2010 and the number of women in ministerial positions has declined. (Black, 2012)

Women are still hugely under-represented at upper levels in the workplace. The report measures each equality indicator on a scale of 0 (no equality) to 1 (full equality). Women’s representation amongst legislators, senior officials, and managers has been stuck at 0.56 for the past three years. This means that for young women entering the workplace, they will have fewer female role models in management or other top-tier positions. Also, when women are misrepresented in management, they will not be equally taken into account when it comes to company policies. Inevitably creating a glass ceiling for women.

It is a bit ironic that this is the situation when even the Conference Board of Canada says "organizations with a higher proportion of women in executive positions exhibit stronger financial performance." (The Huffington Post Canada, 2013) The Conference Board of Canada did an extensive study of about 900 surveys of men and women and 30 interviews with women leaders. The Conference Board points to measures such as making women’s advancement a formal governance and performance priority for boards, proactive mentoring of potential leaders and establishing more family-friendly policies and practices that encourage all employees, women and men, to take advantage of them. (The Huffington Post Canada, 2013)

Canada has high levels of equality in access to education, so the issue is not due to lack of qualifications. “In fact, the income gap is actually greater for women with university or college degrees than it is for those with high school diplomas. Having a university degree means a higher level of income overall, yes, but it also means facing a higher level of wage discrimination." The forecast is even worse for Canadian women in politics. Although Canada now has six female premiers, the country is even further behind in equal representation in government. Currently, women only make up 25% of the federal legislature. (Canada, 2013)

This is all surprising to me. I was not aware of the gap in income inequality and of the lack of women in politics and management positions. Especially in a country that I always viewed as very liberal and modern. I suppose the ways hold women down or set a glass ceiling is a bit more subtle. Its really a paradigm of society that must be broken. Women in management cannot be exceptions, but just as often as men are. Bibliography

Black, D. (2012). iPolitics. Retrieved May 31, 2013, from Canada, T. H. (2013, April 25). Huffington Post. Retrieved May 31, 2013, from The Huffington Post Canada. (2013, May 15). The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 31, 2013, from

The violence experienced by women in Canada compared to that of women in the developing world, such as the examples shown in Shackled Women, is slight different and much less public. In Canada, society is much more advanced and women are viewed way more socially equal than in third-world countries. Also, there isn’t a main religion in Canada that promotes the oppression of...
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