Victoria is the best city in which to work and live as a woman today in Canada, according to a report that ranks the desirability for women of 25 large cities.
The Best and Worst Places to be a Woman in Canada 2015
measures the gender gap in Canada’s cities, which is impacted heavily by workplace opportunity.
Produced by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, it found that Victoria was in fact the best overall place to work and live as a woman today.
Victoria was followed by Gatineau in second, while Quebec City, Abbotsford-Mission and Halifax completed the top five best cities.
Victoria’s gap in employment levels between women and men was the smallest of all of the 25 cities measured, while the gap was also relatively small for wages.
In Victoria, women earn 73% of what men earn overall, though men’s wages in Victoria fell below the national average, and they suffer higher unemployment.
Victoria is also the only city where women outnumber men among elected officials. Women hold five out of nine seats on the city’s council, and do better than average in adjacent municipalities, holding 45% of elected positions.
This translates across to private sector professional leadership, with women in Victoria accounting for 37% of senior management positions.
Gatineau women saw the smallest pay gap, earning 87 cents on the male dollar.
The report said cities like Gatineau and Victoria come out on top because of their robust public sector, which is still more transparent than the private sector.
“Public sector employers are highly unionized and, as a result, have robust wage-setting processes,” the report says. “They have strong equity regulations in place which ensure that the employer must keep track of whether or not there are discriminatory gaps in pay and promotion.”
The report measured the gender gap based on key indicators that included economic security, leadership, health, personal security, and education.
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo came out as the worst city for women, with Saskatoon, Windsor, Calgary and Edmonton also in the bottom five.