10 Facts About Women in the Workforce

March 8, 2017

In Management & Organizational Performance

Women in the workforce from diverse backgrounds

Over the last three decades, women in the workforce have made an enormous amount of progress. Even though women’s situation has improved in Canada, there’s still a way to go before true equality between the sexes is achieved. For instance, when it comes to the best places to be a woman, Canada ranks 30th, with countries like Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden at the top of the list. To celebrate International Women’s Day, here are a few facts from that show how much progress has been made and the gap that still exists between men and women. It is certainly cause for celebration and optimism.

1. Women make up roughly half of the workforce

Thirty years ago, women made up less than 40% of the workforce. Today they make up approximately half of it. From a purely quantitative perspective, it can be said a certain parity has been achieved when it comes to the number of women who are working.

 2. Women tend to be more educated than men

In the early 1990s, less than 50% of women had a post-secondary degree. Today, more than 70% of women have frequented post-secondary institutions.

 3. Women have a lower rate of unemployment

The unemployment rate has gone down for both sexes, but women have a lower rate of unemployment. In 1980, the unemployment rate for men and women was approximately 10%. In 2015, the rate was 8% for men and 6% for women.

4. The number of women who have a part-time job has remained the same in the last three decades

The number of part-time workers has remained relatively the same, which means that the number of women with a full-time job has increased over the last 35 years.

5. More women have a part-time job than men

Nearly 25% of women and 15% of men have a part-time job. Women cite their family obligations for getting a part-time job while men tend to get a part-time job because it accommodates their studies. This kind of work is involuntary in 25% of cases.

6. Women make up most of the workforce in the service industry but are still a minority in the goods industry

Nearly 90% of women’s jobs are in the services industry. However, there are nearly three times more men than women in the goods industry.

7 . Women are a minority in the private sector and a majority in the public sector

The number of women in the workforce has increased mainly in the public sector.

8. Women make 90% of what their male counterparts make

Over the last 30 years, women’s hourly wages have gone up by about 60%. In 2015, women made on average $25 an hour. Even though men’s salary has not gone up as much (approximately 40%), they still make an average of $28 an hour.

9. Women’s weekly wages are 85% of men’s weekly wages

The biggest wage gap between men and women has to do with weekly wages. This is partially due to the fact that on average, women work less hours per week than men, as we mention in the following point.

 10. Women work less hours than men

A little over half of women in a full-time job work between 35 and 39 hours a week. On the other hand, a little over half of men with full-time jobs work 40 hours a week. Moreover, 1 employee out of 10 works more than 40 hours a week, but very few of them are women.

What do you think of the progress that has been made so far? Share this article with all the women who make their work environment a great place where recognition takes centre stage. Happy International Women’s Day!


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