Data Check: Women make gains in PhD enrolment, while employment and salary still lags in certain fields

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Since 1992, women have made significant gains in PhD enrolment. However, in certain fields, they continue to lag behind men in employment and median salary.
The recent Statistics Canada report on the career paths of Canadian doctoral graduates echoes an earlier Statistics Canada release that traced the increasing proportion of doctoral students and graduates who are women. Less than a third of PhD enrolment in 1992, women now account for about 45 per cent of graduates of doctoral programs.
The pattern varied, depending on the field of study. Women who graduated in 2005 were over-represented in some fields – notably the life sciences, psychology and social sciences and “education and other fields”. In Ontario, only 20 per cent of female survey respondents held engineering doctorates and 27 per cent had advanced degrees in computer, mathematics and physical sciences.
According to the data, the gender gap in full-time employment for PhD graduates also varies by field for the class of 2005. Although female graduates from Ontario programs in life sciences and in computer, mathematics and physical sciences had full-time employment rates comparable to those of their male counterparts, women in “education and other fields” and in engineering experienced employment rates 10 percentage points below that for men. The gap in employment for female psychology and social sciences grads was five percentage points.
In the two fields where the full-time employment rates of women were comparable to their male colleagues, median salaries for female grads in Ontario were actually higher than those of Ojntario men. However, women’s median salaries in other fields lagged be. The earnings gap ranged from $2,000 for those in psychology and social sciences to $6,000 for engineering doctorates.
Source: Statistics Canada, Profile and Labour Market Outcomes of Doctoral Graduates from Ontario Universities; Doctoral Students and University Teaching Staff

This article originally appeared in the OCUFA Report. To receive stories like this every week in your inbox, please subscribe.

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