Post-secondary is closing the wage gap

Are single, educated women driving this change?

New Statistics Canada data shows that the wage gap between men and women is shrinking. It’s not closed yet, but it’s shrinking is certainly cause for some celebration.

Not surprisingly, though, once you break down the data, education is at the heart of the change.

A few months ago, I wrote about the rising female enrollment in post-secondary education and how that was being mirrored in how long people are delaying marriage.

Now, Statistics Canada is also correlating that trend with rising women’s income levels in comparison to men.

In 2008, men could more than double their average annual income by attending a post-secondary institution. For women, the difference between high school and post-secondary education was more than triple annual income levels.

And as more women than ever are attending post-secondary institutions, they are choosing to achieve their life goals on their own terms. To do this, they’re demanding equal wages to their male peers.

This equalization is happening quickly. Between 2000 and 2008, the average man’s income rose seven per cent. In the same period, women’s income rose 13 per cent.

Men still out-earn women by a considerable margin. For every dollar a post-secondary educated man earns, a woman can still only hope to earn $0.68.

But so long as women’s economic gains continue to outstrip men’s on the order of 85 per cent, the difference will shrink quickly. With any luck, my children will look on the wage gap with the same incredulity as we now look upon resistance to the suffrage movement.