Women and newcomers to Canada are tops in higher education and experience

Published:  28 Jun at 6 PM
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Figures released last Wednesday by Statistics Canada may come as a shock to Canadian males as it’s women and recently–arrived migrants who top the scale in qualifications and experience.

Women aged between 25 and 64 hold 54 per cent of all Canadian university degrees, with the younger age group between 25 and 34 holding 60 per cent. Women, however, are still reaching desperately for the glass ceiling in the IT, maths, engineering and science and technology sectors, where they are especially under-represented.

The statistics for immigrants are as impressive, with the group making up 25 per cent of the country’s adult population but holding 33 per cent of the university degrees. Countries of origin represented are the UK, China, the USA, the Philippines and India.

However, one problem with the figures taken from the 2011 National Household Survey as they are presented is that there’s no attempt to determine whether those noted as having degrees are in fact working in their field of expertise. Language and other barriers working against appropriate employment for incomers can result in highly-qualified people serving in fast food joints or similar unskilled jobs.

Experts in the Canadian labour market believe there’s still much ground to cover before women and newcomers are regarded as equals by employers. Women are hard hit as regards pay parity, and child care for those with families is a rarity.

According to the figures, retail sales, elementary teaching, admin, nursing and cashiering are top female jobs, giving some idea of the lack of status of educated women in Canada. It’s not dissimilar for immigrants, with many medical professionals with good English still unable to find jobs a year or more after their arrival.
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