Working women in Canada's top 1%: Who are they?

Release date: March 8, 2019
Working women in Canada's top 1%: Who are they?
Description: Working women in Canada's top 1%: Who are they?

Working women in Canada's top 1%: Who are they?

According to the 2016 Census of Population, women continue to be underrepresented in top income groups despite having become more educated over the last half century. This accounts for about half of the gender pay gap in Canada.Footnote 1

  • 1 in 5 workers in the top 1% in 2015 were women
  • 1 in 7 working women in the top 1% belonged to a visible minority group
  • 1 in 100 working women in the top 1% reported on Aboriginal identity

Gender gaps among workers in the top 1%

A large number of women in the top 1% worked in health, typically as physicians, and in business, finance and administration occupations; their male counterparts were more likely than not to be in management or in natural and applied sciences. There was a notable lack of women in senior management.

Distribution of working individuals in the top 1% by sex and selected broad occupational groups
Selected occupational groups Women (percent) Men (percent)
Management occupations 31.0 41.5
Business, finance and administration occupations 22.6 15.3
Health occupations 20.3 11.4
Occupations in social science, education, government service and religion 13.5 9.2
Natural and applied sciences occupations 3.4 9.9

Women in the top 1% with children worked fewer hours than their male counterparts.

  • married or in a common-law relationship: 77.3% women; 88.4% men
  • two or more children among workers 25 to 54 years old: 52.3% women; 62.9% men
Average hours worked among workers aged 25 to 54 years for women and men
Number of children Women Men
No children 45.5 46.7
One child 41.6 46.8
Two children 42.6 47.1
Three or more 40.3 48.4

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2016. For more information, see Richards, E. 2019. Who are the Working Women in Canada's Top 1%? Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series, no.003. Statistics Canada Catalogue no.11F0019M. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

Note: Workers in the top 1% include individuals 15 years of age or older who reported that they were employed in the week prior to Census Day. Workers in the top 1% had a total individual income of $270,900 or more in 2015.

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