The Business & Community Newsletter – April 2017

The Business & Community Newsletter

March 8 is the annual International Women's Day. According to Status of Women Canada, this is a day to “recognize women's achievements and acknowledge the challenges they continue to face in the quest for gender equality.” This year's theme in Canada was “Equality matters.”

To mark this important occasion, Statistics Canada has published a special edition of “By the numbers” with facts on a variety of topics related to women in Canada. In addition, this April edition of the newsletter features a number of Statistics Canada publications on women and girls in Canada. Test your knowledge on this subject with the quiz at the end of the newsletter!

a painted face of a woman

Feature articles

Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report

Statistics Canada released the seventh edition of this comprehensive publication on February 22, 2017. It provides an unparalleled compilation of data related to women's family status, education, employment, economic well-being, unpaid work, health, and more.

Recognizing that women are not a homogenous group and that experiences differ not only across gender but also within gender groups, the publication also includes chapters on immigrant women, women in a visible minority, Aboriginal women, senior women, and women with participation and activity limitations.

Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report” allows readers to better understand the experience of women compared to that of men. The report also contains a chapter titled “The Girl Child”, which describes the demographic characteristics of girls in Canada and presents several topics related to their well-being.

The surge of women in the workforce

a woman drawing a line graphThe Canadian labour market has seen remarkable changes since the 1950s, one of which is the mass participation of women. Over the second half of the 20th century, women became far more involved in the workforce than ever before.

This Canadian Megatrends article, “The surge of women in the workforce”, looks at increased participation of women in the paid workforce since the 1950s. It finds that women's involvement in the labour market has not only risen dramatically, but has also led to a large rise in their median annual wages and salaries. Women's earnings more than doubled between the mid-1960s and the early 2010s, rising from $15,700 in 1965 to $37,200 in 2010 (in 2014 dollars).

Caregivers in Canada, 2012

The study “Portrait of caregivers, 2012,” first published in September 2013, is worth another read. It highlights the contributions of women providing care to family or friends with chronic health conditions, disabilities or aging needs.

In 2012, about 8.1 million individuals, or 28% of Canadians aged 15 years and older, provided care to a family member or friend with a long-term health condition, disability or aging needs.

Women represented the slight majority of caregivers at 54%. They were also more likely than men to spend the longest hours on caregiving activities. In 2012, 17% of women providing care devoted 20 or more hours a week to these tasks, compared with 11% of men.

The increased intensity of caregiving among women may be partly related to the type of tasks commonly performed by them. Women tend to provide care for activities that must be completed on a regular or set schedule. For instance, they were twice as likely as their male counterparts to provide personal care to the primary care receiver, including bathing and dressing (29% versus 13%).

Women were also substantially more likely to assist with medical treatments (27% versus 18%) and housework, such as preparing meals (59% and 41%). On the other hand, house maintenance or outdoor work, which can usually wait until the care provider has the time to do them, was more often performed by men (56% versus 35%).

Gender differences in the financial knowledge of Canadians

business men and women In 2014, Canadian women had lower financial literacy scores than men. About 15% of women and 22% of men correctly answered five key financial literacy questions related to interest, inflation and risk diversification. Women were also less likely than men to consider themselves to be “financially knowledgeable” (31% versus 43%) and were less likely to state that they “know enough about investments to choose the right ones that are suitable for their circumstances” (48% versus 63%).

These knowledge gaps are highlighted in the study “Gender differences in the financial knowledge of Canadians”. Using data from the 2014 Canadian Financial Capability Survey (CFCS), this study examines the gap in the financial knowledge of men and women and how the difference varies across socioeconomic characteristics such as age and education. It also provides additional insight into the financial knowledge of Canadian men and women who are married or in a common-law union.

Women in scientific occupations in Canada, 1991 to 2011

scientists In 2011, women represented less than one in four (23%) workers in university-level scientific occupations, compared with nearly two-thirds (65%) of workers in university-level non-scientific occupations.

The relatively low proportion of women in scientific occupations was due to the fact that there were fewer women in occupations related to computer science. In 2011, computer science accounted for nearly one-half of all workers in scientific occupations normally requiring a university degree.

These findings are reported in a study, "Women in scientific occupations in Canada," which provides information on the scientific occupations of working women aged 25 to 64.

Although the study discusses both college-level and university-level occupations, the results presented in this release are based on occupations that normally require a university degree.

University-level scientific occupations comprise those in engineering, physical and life sciences, architecture, urban planning and land surveying, mathematics, statistics and actuarial science, and computer science.

Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends

figure at windowAccording to a Juristat article, “Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends”, about 173,600 women aged 15 years and older were victims of violent crime in 2011. This translates into a rate of 1,207 female victims for every 100,000 women in the population, 5% higher than the rate of violence against men (1,151 per 100,000).

The article is organized into four sections: prevalence and severity of violence against women, risk factors associated with violence against women, impact of violence against women and responses to violence against women.

To provide a comprehensive picture of the extent and nature of violence against women, both police-reported crime data and self-reported victimization data are used. The analysis also draws on information from two administrative surveys, namely the Transition Home Survey and the Victims Services Survey.


question markReady for a quiz? Good luck! For the correct answers, scroll down to the end of the newsletter.

  1. Based on the medium-growth scenario of population projections, the female population in Canada could reach what number by 2061?
    1. 18.9 million
    2. 20.9 million
    3. 25.3 million
    4. 30.3 million
  2. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, immigrant women and girls accounted for what proportion of Canada's total female population?
    1. 19.8%
    2. 21.2%
    3. 33.3%
    4. 41.1%
  3. How much did the Aboriginal female population grow between 2006 and 2011, compared with 5% for the non-Aboriginal female population?
    1. 10%
    2. 20%
    3. 30%
    4. 40%
  4. According to the 2013/2014 Canadian Community Health Survey, what proportion of females aged 12 or older and living in households self-rated their overall health as very good or excellent?
    1. 39%
    2. 47%
    3. 59%
    4. 75%
  5. True or false: On July 1, 2015, there were fewer senior women aged 65 and older than girls aged 14 and younger.
    1. True
    2. False
  6. True or false: In 2015, women were more likely than men to have college or university qualifications and less likely to have a trades certificate as their highest credential.
    1. True
    2. False
  7. According to data from the 2012/2013 Canadian Health Measures Survey, what proportion of girls aged 5 to 17 were overweight or obese, based on their measured body mass index (BMI)?
    1. 15%
    2. 29%
    3. 33%
    4. 41%
  8. What proportion of the entire Canadian workforce did women account for in 2014?
    1. 27%
    2. 39%
    3. 47%
    4. 51%
  9. True or false: In 2012, as caregivers, women were more likely than men to help with personal care and less likely to help with house maintenance.
    1. True
    2. False
  10. When couples share the responsibility for the long-term financial management of the household or when a woman's contribution to household income is similar to that of her male partner, is there still a gender difference in financial knowledge?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  11. According to data from the Labour Force Survey (2010 to 2015), men working full time in both scientific occupations and non-scientific occupations earned how much more, on average, than their female counterparts?
    1. 6%
    2. 9%
    3. 12%
    4. 15%
  12. Which of the following was the most common violent offence committed against women in 2011?
    1. Uttering threats
    2. Criminal harassment
    3. Common assault
    4. Robbery

Also worth reading

General Social Survey – Family (GSS) now underway

logo people and coloursBetween 2000 and 2012, parental leave benefits were extended from 10 to 35 weeks, same-sex marriage was legalized, Quebec Parental Insurance Plan started offering paternity benefits to fathers, and the Universal Child Care Benefit and Family Caregiver Tax Credit were introduced.

Information collected in surveys like the General Social Survey on Family helps paint a more accurate picture of the diversity of Canadian families and contributes to the implementation of social programs such as these, which meet the needs of all Canadians.

Canadian Megatrends - From east to west: 140 years of interprovincial migration

Migration between provinces and territories has been part of Canadian life since Confederation, and the portion of Canadians who leave their province of birth has increased over time. This Canadian Megatrends article titled “From east to west: 140 years of interprovincial migration looks at interprovincial migration and its impact on the demographic characteristics of Canada's regions over time.

By the numbers… World Water Day

waterMarch 22 is World Water Day, an annual international event. In 1993, the United Nations officially designated this day to create awareness about the importance of freshwater, freshwater resources and sustainability. How much do you know about this precious resource in Canada? Learn more about this in “By the numbers… World Water Day.”

Answers to the quiz:

  1. c) Source: Female population
  2. b) Source: Immigrant Women
  3. b) Source: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Women
  4. c) Source: The health of girls and women in Canada
  5. b) Source: Senior Women
  6. a) Source: Women and Education: Qualifications, Skills and Technology
  7. b) Source: The Girl Child
  8. c) Source: The surge of women in the workforce
  9. a) Source: Portrait of caregivers, 2012
  10. b) Source: Gender differences in the financial knowledge of Canadians
  11. b) Source: Women in scientific occupations in Canada
  12. c) Source: Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends
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