Business

Two New Reports Highlight How Far We Are From Gender Equality in Canada

women's history month, gender equality

One in two Canadians cannot name a single woman scientist or engineer, according to a study released on International Women’s Day.

It may be Women’s History Month, but there’s a lot of work  to do before we can brag about the state of gender equality. At least, that’s what the latest data says from two recently released studies.

Canadian women and girls in STEM

Girls Who Code, an international non-profit working to end the gender gap in the technology sector, released a study on Friday, International Women’s Day (IWD), that revealed 52% of Canadians cannot name a single women scientist or engineer. That statistic pairs well with the sobering addition that 82% of Canadians picture a man when they imagine a computer scientist.

The latest survey is not far from other statistics: only a third of Canadian STEM graduates are women, according to the Status of Women Canada. This year’s theme for IWD in Canada was #InnovateForChange, a call-to-action to remove barriers women face in STEM fields.

There is still hope, however. 77% of Canadians believe increased media attention will help close the gender gap in STEM, and around the same number of Canadians believe exposing girls to coding programs could help increase interest in STEM careers. While 70% of those surveyed say they had no female role models in STEM growing up, this number is generation-specific. Only 52% of millennials agree with the statement, while the number jumps to 81% for baby boomers.

Last week, Bay Street Bull published a list of six start-up Canadian businesses lead by women in STEM. Take a look at the list which includes everything from a package-free grocery store to a school for hackers, here.

Report on saving and investment habits of women

The second study from Mylo, a Canadian saving and investment app, found that women make 14% less income than men, and are setting financial goals 42% lower than men in Canada. Women are also 52% more likely to set a savings goal around debt or education than men. Still, women are as confident as men about achieving their financial goals.

In Canada, the disparity in confidence varies between major cities, with Winnipeg home to women who were the most confident in achieving their financial goals.

This is the second annual such report from Mylo. Following the results of the first report in 2018, Mylo started the SRI fund which invests in companies that have gender-diverse leadership teams, among other social investment philosophies. This fund, along with other incentives, have brought more women to the app, with the overall percentage of women now 55% higher than other investment apps.

“We’re encouraged by the progress that we’ve seen among women using Mylo, but there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Mylo’s CEO and founder Philip Barrar said in a statement.

“We created Mylo to ensure that all Canadians have the same opportunities to achieve their financial goals. It’s clear that there is still a glaring gender gap in our country. We can’t expect that to change unless we all take responsibility to understand its cause and take significant action.”