Tech jobs in Canada: Some wage gaps are widening


A new report shows that women, people of color and immigrants in Canada’s tech sector saw employment and earnings inequalities persist – and in some cases worsen – between 2001 and 2016.

Research from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship at Toronto Metropolitan University was released Thursday and shows that women have been increasingly excluded from tech work throughout this period.

“It is infuriating to see that we are exactly where we started 20 years ago now,” said Viet Vu, director of economic research at the institute and lead author of the report titled “Further and Further : Canada’s Unrealized Digital Potential ».

Her research showed that women had a 6.29% chance of being a tech worker in 2001, but by 2016 that number had dropped to 4.91%.

Meanwhile, men had a 20% chance of being a tech worker, which remained unchanged between 2001 and 2016.

Over the past 20 years, women have become even more educated, so Vu thinks it’s not ability that fuels exclusion. Instead, he partly blames workplace attitudes and phenomena that limit their participation, such as gender-based violence and sexual harassment.

His research has also focused on wage disparities. He found that men earned an average of $3.49 more per hour than women between 2001 and 2016. That equates to an average of $7,200 in lost income each year.

Identifying as a member of a visible minority also reduced wages by an average of $3.89 per hour.

The report says an immigrant woman who identifies as a visible minority and engages in tech work without a university degree in Canada is expected to earn an average of $18.5 per hour less than a tenured non-immigrant white man. of a university degree.

This equates to a difference of $38,000 in annual income.

If the man in this scenario had a college degree, he would earn an average of $8.94 more per hour.

Researchers also observed no wage gap between immigrant and non-immigrant tech workers in 2001, but in 2016 a gap of about $5.70 per hour emerged.

Over the 15-year period studied, the gap amounted to approximately $4.40 per hour.

Such discoveries made Vu sad because they revealed « huge missed opportunities ».

“We could have invested in making tech more inclusive, we could have invested in enabling more people to get into tech work, but we’re seeing quite a bit,” he said.

He hopes the report will spark change as he sees identifying inequalities as the first step towards parity.

He also believes that the country and its next sector must examine why its current investments and strategies have not yielded results.

« Maybe we can figure out what seems to be working, how we can change it, how we can actually fix it…so it doesn’t stay the status quo anymore. »

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on December 1, 2022.


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