September 17, 2023 marked the beginning of Gender Equality Week in Canada, a time to focus on initiatives, education, and progress towards creating equality for all genders.
In Canada, all genders are considered equal and should be treated as such.
This year, we are taking a closer look at the intersectional gender wage gap in Canada to better understand the differences in hourly wages among diverse groups of women compared with those of Canadian-born men.
The new study, "Intersectional perspective on the Canadian gender wage gap," uses data from the Labour Force Survey to analyze how the gender wage gap among paid workers aged 20 to 54 has evolved for diverse groups of women from 2007 to 2022.
The study found that while men still earn more than women, this gender gap continued to narrow among paid workers aged 20 to 54, from 16% in 2007 to 12% by 2022.
However, not all women experience the same life transitions or experience them in the same way. Consequently, when compared with Canadian-born men, differences may emerge in the pay gaps faced by women from diverse groups
Women from diverse groups experience the gender wage gap differently
When compared with non-Indigenous Canadian-born men, wage gaps in 2022 were largest for immigrant women who landed as adults (21%) and Indigenous women (20%), and smallest for immigrant women who landed as children (11%) and non-Indigenous Canadian-born women (9%) in 2022.
The gender wage gap narrowed for all groups of women since 2007, with larger reductions reported for those groups facing the largest gaps.
The gaps for Indigenous women and immigrant women who landed as adults each narrowed by 7 percentage points. The gap for non-Indigenous Canadian-born narrowed by 6 percentage points and that for immigrant women who landed as children narrowed by 4 percentage points.
A key factor in the convergence was that women from all groups continued to improve their labour market qualifications.
Educational attainment of women surpasses that of men
Men and women have become more educated since 2007. However, the educational attainment of women from most groups surpassed that of men during this period, and this difference has grown over time.
By 2022, the proportion of non-Indigenous Canadian-born men (27%) with a bachelor’s degree continued to fall short of the comparable proportions for immigrant women who landed as adults (59%), immigrant women who landed as children (49%) and non-Indigenous Canadian-born women (41%). The proportion of Indigenous women in the workforce with a bachelor’s degree or above doubled, from 13% in 2007 to 25% in 2022.
United for gender equality: Stronger together
The changing composition of the labour force and differences in job characteristics play a role in reducing the pay gap between Canadian-born men and women from diverse groups.
Women’s relative improvement in education, longer job tenure, and full-time employment explained from 20% of the narrowing gap for non-Indigenous Canadian-born women to 28% for immigrant women who landed as children. Changes in industry and occupation also explained a substantial fraction of the decrease in the gender wage gap, ranging from 31% for Indigenous women to 74% for immigrant women who landed as adults.
For more gender-based data, see the Sex, Gender and Sexual Orientation Statistics Hub.
For more information, contact the Statistical Information Service (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Media Relations (email@example.com).