Education: Issues Facing Women

education
  • Over the past two and a half decades, there has been a sustained upward trend in educational attainment among Canadians, led by women.
  • The proportion of women with a university degree has grown twice as much as the proportion of men, such that women outnumbered men among university‑degree holders by a sizable margin in 2015 (6.5 percentage points),
  • Higher levels of educational attainment matter more for women’s employment than they do for men’s. This is indicated by the greater variability of women’s employment rates across levels of educational attainment.
  • For example, in 2015, the employment rate of women with a high school diploma was 69.3% compared to 83.1% for those with a university degree—a difference of 13.8 percentage points. The employment rate of men with a high school diploma was 81.9% compared to 89.9% for those with a university degree—a difference of 8.0 percentage points. That education is more influential for women’s employment than it is for men’s may reflect the combination of traditional gender roles for women that emphasize the primacy of domesticity, and the lower “opportunity costs” (i.e., foregone wages) associated with being unemployed and not in the labour force for those with lower levels of education.

 

  1. Ferguson, Sarah‑Jane. 2016. “Women and education: Qualifications, skills and technology.” Women in Canada: A gender‑based statistical report. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. Catalogue no. 89‑503‑X.
  2. Statistics Canada. 2011. “Education in Canada: Attainment, field of study and location of study.” Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
  3. Statistics Canada. 201. “Women and Paid Work.” Ottawa: Statistics Canada. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/89-503-x/2015001/article/14694-eng.htm
  4. Turcotte, Martin. 2011. “Women and education.” Women in Canada: A gender‑based statistical report. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. Catalogue no. 89‑503‑X.