NEW RESEARCH: Inequities in pay and participation persist for women, PoC, immigrants in Canada’s tech workforce, report findings show

Systemic labour market inequities in pay and participation continue to persist, and, in some cases, have gotten worse, in that there are new inequities in 2016 that did not exist in 2001.

Toronto, CANADA, Dec. 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gaps in pay and participation in tech for women, people of colour, and immigrants show that those who create technologies in Canada do not adequately represent those who live and work here—and in some instances, the gaps have worsened. 

The findings are according to a new research report published by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Using most recent Statistics Canada person-level data, the report entitled, Further and Further Away: Canada’s unrealized digital potential has found that systemic labour market inequities in pay and participation continue to persist, and, in some cases, have gotten worse, in that there are new inequities in 2016 that did not exist in 2001.

The report includes a Salary Gap Calculator. An interactive tool to track pay gaps amongst demographic groups that have been historically underrepresented in Canada’s economy. Demographic characteristics analyzed include: sex, race, province of residence, immigration status and age (proxied by experience). Explore the calculator and download the full report here. 

Boosting participation of women, those of colour and immigrants in the innovation ecosystem not only fosters a more equitable economy, it improves innovation performance itself by ensuring a diversity of skills, knowledge, and perspectives. 

Among the key findings: 

  • Women are increasingly being excluded from tech work. In 2001, a woman had a 6.29 percent chance of being a tech worker. In 2016, the probability decreased to 4.91 percent. Conversely, a man had a 20 percent chance of being a tech worker, which remained unchanged between 2001 and 2016. 
  • University degrees are still essential for employment in the tech sector. Our research found that not having a university degree is equivalent to the gender participation gap. With all other characteristics controlled for, a man without a university degree had a 5.28 percent chance of being a tech worker in 2016.
  • The gender pay gap persists and is compounded by intersectionality. Our research reveals that men make an average of $3.49 per hour more in pay than women. Further, having a visible minority identity (averaging across all identities) lowers one's income by $3.89 per hour.
  • There are pay inequities amongst immigrants working in tech that did not exist before. In 2001, there was no observable pay gap between immigrant and non-immigrant tech workers, but from 2001 to 2016, a pay gap emerged, to an average of more than $5.70 per hour (in 2016 dollars). The immigrant pay penalty in tech is larger than the gender pay gap.

“As a country, we must foster an inclusive innovation economy. Yet, when we look at tech workers, or those who are at the forefront of technological adoption and innovation, we see many of the same inequities that existed in 2001 that exclude women, racialized individuals, and those who didn’t come from a traditional educational background. If we are to build an economy that works for all, we can’t afford to exclude anyone from the tech workforce,” said Viet Vu, report author and Manager of Economic Research at the Brookfield Institute. 

For more insight into how digitalization has changed work, and how our workforce can be better prepared for the jobs of tomorrow, check out our complementary report, Race Alongside the Machines: Occupational digitalization trends in Canada: 2006-2021.  

For media interviews, contact Nina Rafeek Dow, marketing and communications specialist at BII+E,

About the Brookfield Institute  

The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) is a non-partisan public policy institute housed at Toronto Metropolitan University. We generate bold, forward-thinking research to inform thoughtful and actionable innovation policy. We envision a country that promotes economic prosperity and well-being for everyone by harnessing the full power of innovation.


NEW REPORT: Further and Further Away: Canada's unrealized digital potential Chart: Evolution of pay gap over time, selected characteristics

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