Most Women Economists in Canada Are Dissatisfied in Their Work


Female economists in Canada express less satisfaction in their field of work than do their male peers, according to a new survey.

Less than half of the women surveyed, or 47%, said they were satisfied with their roles in the industry, according to results published Tuesday by the NORC at the University of Chicago for the Canadian Economics Association. That compares with 60% of men.

The survey adds to a stream of research published in recent years highlighting discrimination against women and their underrepresentation in the field of economics.

Contributing to the women’s dissatisfaction are their lower odds of getting published in journals or invited to seminars, among the ways economists can showcase their work, said Janice Compton, an economics professor at the University of Manitoba who contributed to the research. Those opportunities, or a lack of them, often determine the trajectory of a career in economics, Compton said.

“There’s clear research to show that, yes, there is discrimination in publications, in seminar behavior toward women, in hiring, in all these aspects of our job,” Compton said in an interview.

Policymakers are taking steps to address the disparity. The Bank of Canada last year committed to new diversity targets to increase the representation of women in its upper ranks along with minorities.

The questions for the survey released Tuesday were based on similar research conducted by the American Economic Association. Some 1,652 Canadian economists responded to the survey completed in January 2020, mainly those employed by universities or the government.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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