(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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

‘Justice for Mona’ protests planned in Kelowna, Lower Mainland

Security camera footage shows Mona Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check

Neighbourhood pond dries up again

The RDCO filled up the pond on Hall Road but it’s drying up again

Orphaned Okanagan beavers admitted to rehab centre

The two beavers are in the care of the Fawcett Family Wildlife Health Centre

Intent of killing at centre of Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames is anticipated to return with her decision in August

Car smashes into Kelowna dollar store

The vehicle went through the front window of the store just off Highway 97 North

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Bench plaque recognizes former Summerland firefighter

Volunteers with fire department set up plaque in honour of Richard Estabrooks

Okanagan Realtors donate big to North Westside fire department

Two Kelowna-area Realtors made a generous donation to the North Westside Fire… Continue reading

SilverStar security recovers stolen bike

Reminders to residents to keep bicycles locked up, eyes open for suspicious activity

Penticton RCMP seek help locating missing woman

25-year-old Iesha Blomquist was reported missing to Penticton RCMP on June 30

Majority of residents in support of alcohol in outdoor spaces: City of Penticton

City council will vote on whether to continue allowing public consumption, on Tuesday, July 7

Princeton RCMP arrest suspects in violent Salmon Arm home invasion

Two men who allegedly staged a violent home invasion in Salmon Arm… Continue reading

LETTER: Questions raised about Summerland solar project

Site of proposed project has been considered for previous initiatives

Most Read