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Women's Economic Inequality

The Wage Gap

In this section:

Men/Women and the 10 Highest/Lowest Paid Occupations in Canada

Occupation # of women in occupation # of men in occupation women's average earnings men's average earnings

Specialist physicians

11,255

21,800

$ 135,065

$ 202,467

Judges

695

2,085

$ 173,701

$ 179,503

Senior managers of financial, communications, and other businesses

11,745

42,155

$ 111,747

$ 176,478

Senior managers of goods production, utilities, transportation, and construction

7,320

51,385

$ 107,061

$ 168,627

General practitioners and family physicians

16,545

25,985

$ 102,435

$ 151,834

Dentists

5,735

12,555

$ 89,666

$ 150,690

Senior managers of trade, broadcasting, and other services

9,610

40,150

$ 79,912

$ 136,654

Lawyers

29,520

45,945

$ 87,736

$ 146,695

Engineering manager

1,850

16,535

$ 80,835

$ 117,047

Banking, credit, and investment managers

35,210

29,015

$ 93,023

$ 148,963

Men outnumber women in all 10 of the highest paying occupations in Canada. In the case of senior managers of goods production, utilities, transportation, construction, men outnumber women by more than 7:1. The women in this field earn only 63% of men doing the same work. In every occupation, men are paid substantially more than women.
Occupation # of women in occupation # of men in occupation women's average earnings men's average earnings
Sewing machine operators 27,750 2,490 $17,340 $20,664
Cashiers 47,110 9,025 $16,977 $20,557
Ironing, pressing and finishing occupations 2,375 990 $16,499 $19,297
Artisans and craftspersons 3,040 2,840 $13,565 $20,555
Bartenders 8,495 7,080 $14,940 $18,899
Harvesting labourers 605 525 $14,465 $18,683
Service station attendants 2,175 8,630 $14,947 $16,520
Food service counter attendants and food preparers 16,680 5,550 $14,681 $17,912
Food and beverage servers 38,250 11,940 $13,861 $18,192
Babysitters, nannies and parents' helpers 34,625 740 $12,662 $15,106

Women outnumber men in all of the lowest paying occupations in Canada except service station attendants. As babysitters, nannies and parents' helpers, women outnumber men by 47:1. In every occupation men are paid more than women.

Source: Statistics Canada. Nation Tables. Data on the 10 Highest Paying occupations is from 2006 census; however, data could not be easily accessed for the 10 lowest paying jobs for that year therefore the figures for the lowest paying jobs are from the 1996 census. Statistics Canada does not always compare certain data or make census findings in certain combinations readily available. Many stats need to be ordered specially and are quite expensive to obtain.

Find out how much the wage gap costs you by visiting CUPE's test.

  • Global Poverty Quiz


    "As I watched women and men express the value of their work, it seemed as if the two genders saw themselves as inhabiting separate economies. Many men, especially upper-class men, see themselves as luxury items in an expansive economy. They see themselves as rare - indeed, unique and irreplaceable - so they try to command the highest price the market will bear. Whereas women, regardless of class, tend to see themselves as cheap raw materials in a depressed economy. Told they are worth little, and that their skills are interchangeable, they tend to assume that they will do best by pricing themselves so low as to undercut all competitors - and throwing in the best service, to boot."

    Naomi Wolf in 'Fire With Fire'

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