Women, immigrants lead the way among Canada’s educated classes: StatsCan

Published: June 26, 2013
Immigrants India Canada

Dr. Anirudh Kapoor, 49 his wife Summi kapoor, 46, and their son Eshan, 21, are pictured in their home in Surrey, British Columbia on June 25, 2013. BEN NELMS for PostMedia

TOBI COHEN
POSTMEDIA NEWS

OTTAWA — When it comes to obtaining higher education, women continue to outpace men, while newcomers are arriving in Canada with more post-secondary experience than the average person who was born here.

According to figures released Wednesday by Statistics Canada, women ages 25 to 64 now hold 54 per cent of all university degrees, and 60 per cent of the degrees among young adults (25 to 34 years of age).

But women remain underrepresented, compared with men, in the so-called “STEM” fields: science and technology, engineering, math and computers.

Meanwhile, the Statistics Canada data suggest immigrants comprise just one-quarter of Canada’s total adult population but account for more than one-third of all adults with a university degree. They most likely to have earned their credentials abroad come from the Philippines, India, the U.K., China and the United States.

What’s difficult to extrapolate from the 2011 National Household Survey, however, is whether immigrants and women with degrees are actually working in their respective fields, whether they’re climbing the corporate ladder and whether they’re being compensated appropriately for their job.

It’s no secret that immigrants, despite often-high levels of education, face language barriers, credential-recognition difficulties and higher levels of underemployment and unemployment.

While the government is taking steps to level the playing field for women and ensure Canada welcomes newcomers who are most likely to be successful, experts argue there is still a way to go.

“In the purely graduating figures, (women are) doing pretty well,” said Penny Collenette, a University of Ottawa adjunct professor and founding member of the Taskforce for Women and Enterprise.

“Where we’re still missing a step is what I call the drop-out rate after. So you get women graduated, they’ll get a job. But then at some point, because of children, because we lack child care in this country, because there are still barriers within certain sectors, they drop out.”

Collenette believes pay parity “should be a given” and is dumbfounded that some women are still earning less than men for doing the same job. She also believes companies ought to take a leadership role in providing child care if the federal government and provinces can’t deliver on an oft-promised national strategy.

While the federal government recently created an advisory council to promote the participation of women on corporate boards, Collenette said talk is cheap.

“We need some action,” she said. “In some other countries there’s actual legislation that says you’ve got to appoint a certain percentage of women . . . Unless businesses . . . get serious about this, we look like laggards in the world.”

Women’s Executive Network founder Pamela Jeffrey added that in many fields, growth has been slow. It’s certainly the case in STEM fields, but also in her field, law. While it’s been 25 years since she graduated from business school, the number of females in her program has “inched up” just five per cent.

She argues women need to be more aggressive in their pursuit of promotions and bigger salaries, but that companies also need to recognize that “dipping into the other 50 per cent of the talent pool” makes good business sense.

On the immigration front, the federal government has taken steps over the last few years to reduce the number of incidences in which physicians and engineers turn to driving taxis for a living.

Tough new language requirements, greater attention to credential recognition and an emphasis on youth, in-demand skills and pre-arrival job offers are expected to go a long way towards rectifying the situation, said Nick Noorani, who helps fellow immigrants settle and succeed in Canada through his website, magazine and speaking engagements.

“What use is education if you can’t speak the language?” he said. He expects the situation will improve, but argues regulated professions like medicine remain a tough nut to crack for newcomers.

Anirudh Kapoor and his wife Summi are learning that first-hand. The radiologist and ophthalmologist from India left their home and successful practices to move to Vancouver. A year-and-a-half later, they remain unemployed, are running out of money and may have to return home if they can’t find work soon.

“It was my lifelong dream to live in a civilized country . . . to not have to deal with the basics of living,” said Kapoor who is now upgrading his skills.
Kapoor, who has strong English skills, said he’s considering dropping his specialty to become a general practitioner but admits even getting into a residency program is difficult.

Despite the struggles many women and immigrants face, the figures are promising on some fronts. According to Statistics Canada, six out of every 10 young medical degree holders are now women, while 47 per cent of young doctorate degree holders are women.

Immigrants, meanwhile, make up half of all adults who hold degrees in so-called STEM fields.

Yet, according to the figures, the top female jobs were in retail sales, administration, nursing, cashiering and teaching at the elementary level.

The 2011 National Household Survey, to which 2.65 million households responded, replaced the mandatory long-form census. Experts say the voluntary nature of the survey leaves some gaps in the data from groups who do not tend to respond to voluntary surveys, including Aboriginals, new immigrants and low-income families. But despite this, they also say the data should provide a fairly accurate broad scale picture of Canada.
tcohen@postmedia.com
Twitter.com/tobicohen

BATTLE OF THE SEXES: WHAT MEN AND WOMEN STUDY:
-Young female grads hold more degrees in science and technology, engineering, math and computers than older women, but at 67.4 per cent, men still hold the most
-Young women hold 62.2 per cent of medical degrees, while older women hold 28 per cent
-Young men hold 37.8 per cent of medical degrees, while older men hold 72 per cent
-Young women hold 59.1 per cent of bachelor degrees, while older women hold 49.3 per cent
-Young men hold 40.9  per cent of bachelor degrees, while older men hold 50.7 per cent
-Young women hold 58.1 per cent of master’s degrees, while older women hold 45.4 per cent
-Young men hold 41.9 per cent of master’s degrees, while older men hold 54.6 per cent
-Young women hold 47.3 per cent of doctorates, while older women hold 31.6 per cent of doctorates
-Young men hold 52.7 per cent of doctorates, while older men hold 68.4 per cent of doctorates
-8 in 10 registered apprenticeship certificates are held by men

Related Stories:

Canada growing dependent on temporary foreign workers

CEO of Wal-Mart India leaves post after 6 years at helm, no reason cited

7-Eleven stores raided as US accuses owners and managers of exploiting immigrants

After Saudi Arabia, Kuwait wants to reduce expat workers


Tags: , , , , ,





Featured

varsha

Ontario teen fighting superbugs with an assist from Indian home cooking

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Like a lot of great discoveries, Varsha Jayasankar’s foray into how to kill superbugs with an extract from Indian food started…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Low caste teen in India burnt alive after goats stray into neighbours’ field

CEN AGENCY A poor goat herder was burnt to death after greedy land owners doused him in petrol and set him ablaze because his goats…
Continue Reading »

Police are investigated a suspected murder in Surrey, B.C.

Police investigating suspected homicide in Surrey

SURREY NOW Police say an autopsy will be required to determine how Surrey’s 14th homicide of 2014 died. The body of the victim, a man…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

B.C.’s LNG emissions’ law greenest, cleanest in the world: environment minister

By Dirk Meissner THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA – New legislation introduced in British Columbia requires liquefied-natural-gas plants to meet emission standards or face penalties and…
Continue Reading »

N.B.’s new premier to oilpatch: support for Energy East has not wavered

By Lauren Krugel THE CANADIAN PRESS CALGARY – New Brunswick’s new premier said Monday he’s looking to assure Alberta’s oilpatch that even though the government…
Continue Reading »

varsha

Ontario teen fighting superbugs with an assist from Indian home cooking

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Like a lot of great discoveries, Varsha Jayasankar’s foray into how to kill superbugs with an extract from Indian food started…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC-surrey

Most South Asians and Chinese in B.C. have faced discrimination based on ethnicity

A quarter reported experiencing moderate or significant amounts of discrimination DOUGLAS TODD VANCOUVER DESI  Stereotyping. Verbal harassment. Poor customer service. Workplace unfairness. Exclusion from dating….
Continue Reading »

MINOR ATACKED

False confession leads police to arrest new suspect in sexual assault of 9-year-old Surrey girl

FRANK LUBA VANCOUVER DESI A man who confessed to the sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl in Surrey has been released and a 28-year-old man…
Continue Reading »

Dilwali Fest

Diwali Fest kicks off with IndiGlam fashion-fusion show (w/ video)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI It was a classic mother-daughter argument that propelled Surrey’s Raji Khaira into a career of fashion design. Khaira, 25, grew up…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Desi

Canada Place caught the eye of man who builds models in chalk (w/gallery)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Jagdeep Singh Bihal moved to Vancouver from India two years ago and did some sightseeing around the city,  it was…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-VANCOUVER-MUMBAI

Diwali organizer inspired by memories of Mumbai revelry

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver’s Rohit Chokhani can still recall his childhood in Mumbai when Indian streets would light up with fireworks and life would…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi boobs Sonakshi SInha

Sonakshi Sinha enjoyed Tamil film debut with Lingaa

IANS Chennai  – Actress Sonakshi Sinha, who is making her Tamil debut opposite superstar Rajinikanth in upcoming Tamil actioner Lingaa, says she thoroughly enjoyed working…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Irrfan Khan to head Abu Dhabi film fest jury

IANS New Delhi  – Acclaimed actor Irrfan Khan will preside over the Narrative Feature Competition Jury at the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF). The…
Continue Reading »

Rekha

Rekha’s TV presence has left tremendous impact: Indra Kumar

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS Mumbai  – Veteran actress Rekha, who has kept her distance from the small screen, has duly followed the current tradition of…
Continue Reading »