We’ve come a long way baby – but not far enough. A recent gender equality study has found that Vancouver is only the 9th best place to be a woman in Canada.
The study was carried out by Kate McInturff with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women.
Modelled on methods used by the World Economic Forum and the UN, it aimed to capture the gap between men’s and women’s quality of life, in a wide range of areas.
In Vancouver, McInturff found, women are more likely than men to have finished high school, college or university, with 27% of women holding degrees.
That’s slightly higher than the proportion of men with degrees in Vancouver, which stands at 26%.
And once they get a job, women are fairly well represented at least in government, holding five out 11 elected positions in the City of Vancouver.
But, when you spread that out to include the rest of Metro Vancouver, women only make up 36% of elected officials on average.
Overall, fewer women are working than men, with 58% of women holding jobs, compared to 64% of men. Only 35% of women have made it to a position of senior management.
And yes, it’s not just your imagination, there is a wage gap, with women earning
only 83% of what men earn working full-time.
Victoria is no. 1 for women
But gender paradise it seems isn’t far away – Victoria came top out of all 25 cities surveyed across Canada.
McInturff says the biggest difference is that Victoria is one of the few cities to have a female mayor, Lisa Helps. As well, there are more women than men on the council.
Overall, the gap in the proportion of men and women working in Victoria is the smallest in Canada, but it’s not all perfect.
Even in Victoria, women in full-time work earn only 71% of what men earn on average.
And the worst place to be a woman in Canada? Windsor, Ontario, where women only hold a quarter of elected positions and only 31% of senior management roles.
Women in Windsor also have the lowest employment rate of any of the 25 cities surveyed, at 53%, and even when they do have a job, they only earn 74% of what men earn.
Windsor also has the highest proportion of women living in poverty, at 24%, and are the least likely to say they are in good health, with only 52% feeling fit.
“Canada has made gains in creating opportunities for women and girls to thrive in our communities. But there is still work to do,” says McInturff in a release.
“The statistics compiled here are the beginning of the conversation, not the end.”
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Canada’s gender equality rankings
- St. John’s
- St. Catharines-Niagara