Employment and Wage Gaps Among Recent Canadian Male and Female Postsecondary Graduates

  • Anthony JehnEmail author
  • David Walters
  • Stephanie Howells
Original Article

Level of postsecondary schooling and field of study remain significant markers of social stratification. However, the extent to which these various types of postsecondary schooling influence the labor market outcomes of recent male and female graduates is unknown. Drawing on data from Statistics Canada’s 2013 National Graduates Survey, we examine the employment status and gender gap in earnings among recent Canadian male and female graduates at different levels of postsecondary education and various fields of study, three years after graduation. The findings indicate substantial gender disparities in employment status across all types of postsecondary education. The gender gap in earnings is highest among trades and community college graduates, but effectively disappears for graduates with earned doctorate degrees. With respect to field of study, the gender wage gap is smallest among liberal arts graduates and largest among graduates with math-, computer science-, or engineering-related credentials. The policy implications associated with these findings should be of interest to international researchers as pay equity among men and women in the workforce remains a priority for all OECD countries.


gender wage gap postsecondary education employment outcomes school-to-work transitions 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology DepartmentUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.University of GuelphGuelphCanada

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