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Canadian Women In The Workforce.

Where were they? Where are they now?

Canadian Women In The Workforce.

woman

By Aisha Newton
Monster Contributing Writer



Canadian Women have worked outside of home for quite some time now. Prior to the First World War, they solely took care of their households. World War I was one of the first times in history in which women went to work. With the men off fighting on the front lines, women filled the vacant positions.
 
 In World War II the government asked women to do their part and support the war effort. Many found employment in factories, farms, airfields & construction.  
According to the Canadian Veterans Affairs: “At the peak of wartime 439,000 women worked in the service sector, 373,000 in manufacturing and 4,000 in construction. Women's smaller physical size and manual dexterity helped them develop a great reputation for fine precision work in electronics, optics, and instrument assembly.”
The women were grossly underpaid, when compared with their male counterpoints and their working conditions were deplorable. Despite proving their value as skilled employees and thriving under the circumstances, most of the women were unjustly fired from their jobs when the men returned from the war. 
                                               
Nowadays Canadian women are free to work wherever they choose and have become leaders in many areas and industries; but where can we find Canada’s working women today, and are they still struggling to find their way in the workforce?
 
Data from a Statistics Canada revealed that in 2011, women comprised slightly less than half of the employed labour force (48.0%). Among the 10 broad occupational categories, women aged 15 years and over were most likely to be employed in sales and service occupations (27.1%); business, finance and administration occupations (24.6%); and occupations in education, law and social, community and government services (16.8%)
 
There are many fields where the number of women is quite low. Only 30.1% of the workers in the manufacturing industry were women and only 6.4% worked in trades or construction work.
 
Women still occupy the majority of part-time low-income jobs. A Statistics Canada survey shows that 7/10 part time workers were female. While 35% of women between the ages of 25-44 worked part-time so they could care for their children. 
 
The 20 most common occupations among women accounted for 45.8% of their total employment. In comparison, 30.1% of men worked in their 20 most common occupations.
 
Another important statistic to note is that in 2010 Canadian women were shouldering the added burden of childcare. The survey noted that women spent an average of 50.1 hours a week performing unpaid child care duties, while men spend only spent an average of 24.4 hours.
 
Pay equity is also a large issue in our country. Statistics Canada data suggests that for every dollar a man earns, a woman only gets 72 cents.  
 
Women are bowing out of career advancing opportunities, due in part to of the extra workload they have at home. If the division of labour at home were more balanced that would allow more women the freedom and confidence to further advance their careers.
 
The CEO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg, was quoted in a 2010 New Yorker magazine profile:
 
 "The No. 1 impediment to women succeeding in the workforce is now in the home. Most people assume that women are responsible for households and child care. Most couples operate that way — not all. That fundamental assumption holds women back."
 
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, if your partner isn’t doing their fair share around the house. Speak up!
 
Women are not solely responsible for child care and running the home. Working as team will prove to be beneficial, especially when it allows the possibility of greater career fulfillment and advancement. ´╗┐

Some may choose the comfort of established fields with the knowledge that women already abound in their chosen profession, while others will opt to try something new and blaze a trail for women behind them. 
 
Women should also consider a job in the skilled trades.  While many fear discrimination on the job site, only 5% of skilled tradespeople are female. When compared to 84% of female hair stylists and aestheticians, based on the Statistics Canada data, skilled trades much often offer higher salaries, which can make it a more attractive and advantageous career path for single mothers. Joining professional associations and seeking out mentors can help make the transition easier. If more women seek out careers in these fields, it will help to open doors for other women.
 
Ultimately it is up to women to choose their paths. We have great examples nowadays from CEO`s, TV personalities, writers, political officials, world leaders, and more.

In spite of all this, Canadian women have come a long way and there is a still lot of room for advancement. 

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