Data Catalyst - InnovationInspired by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics’ look at women in science across the world, and as part of the work we’re doing in exploring the role of gender in the innovation economy, we’ve decided to do a deeper dive into some of the Canadian statistics on the gender disparity in the labour force.

Over the months of April and May, we’ll be sharing some visualizations that look at a particular slice of data around women in the labour force in Canada, and we welcome your feedback and thoughts on what kinds of stories those visualizations tell.

Women in the labour force by level of education

The visualization below highlights the education level of women in the Canadian labour force from 1990 to 2013. Using data from Statistics Canada, we’ve looked at how educational patterns have changed over the past 13 years.

 
A few things we immediately noticed:

  • The number of women in the labour force who have obtained a post-secondary certificate or diploma, and those who have at least a bachelor’s degree, is rapidly increasing.
  • The number of women in the workforce with a bachelor’s degree exceeded the number of women with a high school diploma for the first time in 2008.
  • The increase of women in the labour force with a bachelor’s degree since 1990 is 193%.

What does the data tell you? What actions do we need to take to address some of the issues that come from understanding the data?


All articles in this series:


Definitions

Labour force: Refers to the labour market activity of the population 15 years of age and over, excluding institutional residents, in the week containing the 15th day of the month prior to Census Day. Respondents are classified as either employed or unemployed. The remainder of the working-age population is classified as not in the labour force.

Labour force participation rate: Total labour force expressed as a percentage of the population aged 15 and over. The participation rate for a particular group (for example, women aged 25 years and over) is expressed as a percentage of the population for that group.

Post-secondary certificate or diploma: Completed a certificate (including a trade certificate) or diploma from an educational institution beyond the secondary level. This includes certificates from vocational schools, apprenticeship training, community college, Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) and nursing schools. Also included are certificates below a bachelor’s degree obtained at a university.

High school graduate: Received a high school diploma. In Quebec, completed Secondary V. In Newfoundland and Labrador, completed the fourth year of secondary school.

Bachelor’s degree: Obtained at minimum a university bachelor’s degree.

Some high school: Attended but did not complete secondary school. In Quebec, attended at least Secondary III but did not complete Secondary V. In Newfoundland and Labrador, attended at least the first year of secondary school but did not complete the fourth year.

Some post-secondary: Worked toward, but did not complete, a degree, certificate (including a trade certificate) or diploma from an educational institution, including a university, beyond the secondary level. This includes vocational schools, apprenticeship training, community college, CEGEP and nursing schools.

0 to 8 years: Primary education, Grade 8 or lower. In Quebec, Secondary II or lower.