(Pixabay)

$20K pay gap between women, men in Canadian tech jobs

The report defines tech workers as people either producing or making extensive use of technology, regardless of industry

Women in Canadian tech jobs, with a bachelor’s degree or higher, earn nearly $20,000 less a year than their male counterparts — and that pay gap can be just as stark for visible minority and Indigenous tech workers, a new study says.

The Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, housed within Ryerson University in Toronto, crunched 2016 Statistics Canada census data with methodology based on the U.S. O..Net system for skills breakdowns.

READ MORE: B.C. MLA calls for equal pay in the workplace

It found a $19,750 pay gap between female and male workers with a Bachelor’s degree or higher, with women averaging $75,500 a year, compared with $95,100 for men.

“These numbers pop out at you,” said Sean Mullin, the Brookfield Institute’s executive director.

“An almost $20,000 gap between men and women with a bachelor’s degree in the same profession in 2016, is still a pretty significant thing and we as citizens, should aspire to be better than that and to fix those types of disparities.”

The report defines tech workers as people either producing or making extensive use of technology, regardless of industry.

The research encompasses both digital occupations, which typically contribute to the development of hardware or software, and high-tech occupations that require advanced technical skills and usually includes engineers and scientists.

Brookfield said there are about 935,000 Canadians working tech occupations, representing 5.1 per cent of the Canadian labour force that year.

When all Canadian tech jobs are examined, regardless of education, the pay gap shrinks to $7,300 with men earning $76,200 annually on average and women earning roughly $68,900.

Mullin said the report didn’t delve into causes of the gap, but noted that men were being drawn to more technical, higher paying jobs. He also pointed out that general research has shown women are less likely to enter science, technology, engineering and math careers and face additional barriers from family and cultural stereotypes.

“There are diversity and representation challenges, but they are not necessarily worse than other parts of the economy,” he said. “In some ways (tech) is better, but better is not good enough. We shouldn’t be satisfied with better.”

READ MORE: ‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces

Across visible minority groups, the study found women receive lower compensation than their male counterparts in almost all cases. The exception was Chinese women, with an average salary $73,430 — about on par with Chinese men.

Meanwhile, Indigenous tech workers were paid significantly less than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Inuit tech workers, regardless of sex, made about $45,000 per year on average. Workers identifying as First Nations earned $64,000 and Metis tech workers averaged $71,700.

“The tech sector has a long way to go,” said Mullin. “There shouldn’t be any reason why there are salary differentials between these groups and yet the data shows that there are.”

But Mullin stressed that the report didn’t just find areas in need of improvement, but bright spots too.

Tech workers were paid “considerably more” than non-tech workers, with high-tech workers earning on average $45,000 more and digital workers making $21,000 more.

Mullin said the Canadian tech sector has grown by 24 per cent over 10 years, becoming the country’s third highest category for jobs for growth.

Canada, he said, is on track to add at least another 200,000 jobs in the sector over the next decade.

“The tech sector is a good thing. These people are growing part of our economy and they tend to pay more than the average,” he said, “but if the tech sector is gong to be a big part of Canada’s future then we have to make sure it is being accessible and participation in it is open to everybody.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP on hunt for man who has skipped court

Public urged to call 911 if they spot him

Update: Local bull riders help Canada to fourth at PBR Global Cup

Lambert, Hansen manage to earn two of Canadian team’s good rides

Ponoka County wants more information prior to approving permit

Council not satisfied, wants better details about work site and other issues

Ponoka County, Rimbey approve recreation deal

Agreement worked out as part of ICF negotiations

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Trudeau says Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades a critical moment for country

First Nations leaders suggest it may be time to peacefully end the blockades

Falun Outdoor Classic hits the rink Feb. 22

Intense CACA action featuring Augustana Vikings, SAIT Trojans

Stettler County awaits Summer Village responses on possible amendment to Buffalo Lake development plan

Amendment could allow for more lots at the controversial Buffalo Lake RV Resort

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Federal, B.C. ministers seek meeting with Wet’suwet’en in hope of blockade solution

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route

Flight to evacuate Canadians from cruise ship ‘expected’ to depart Japan on Thursday

Canadians seeking to return to home by commercial means will be subject to the Quarantine Act

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Most Read