Hennessy's Index: Working Women (2013 Research)

Trish Hennessey

86 - Percentage of women in Canada who say their paid work provides required income to meet the household’s bottom line. Source

29 - Percentage of Canadian women considered the primary breadwinner in 2003 – up from 11 per cent in 1967. Source

30% - The shortfall between what primary breadwinner wives earned in 2003 compared to primary breadwinner husbands. Source

58.2 - Percentage of women in Ontario who were employed in 2009, compared to 45.8 per cent in 1976.Source

75 - Percentage of mothers with young children who are in the paid labour force. Since the 1960s, mothers of young children have swelled among the ranks of working Ontarians. Source

20 - Percentage of regulated child care spaces available to Ontario children under the age of 5. Source

67 - Percentage of women in Canada employed in traditionally women’s work such as teaching, nursing, clerical, admin or sales and service in 2009. Source

62 - Percentage of university undergraduate students in Canada who were women in 2008. Even though women are more likely than men to go to university or college, they don’t necessarily end up getting paid better once they’re in the work force. Source

28% - The average amount that working women in Ontario were short-changed in 2010 due to the gender pay gap (includes full-time and part-time workers). Source

71.9 - Percentage of women in Canada who belong to unions in the public sector, compared to 68.5% of men. This reflects women’s work in public administration, teaching and health care. Source

7% - The pay gap between women and men who work as teachers or professors in Ontario, indicating pay in these occupations is clearly more equal. (2008, average hourly wage, full- and part-time). Source

6% - The average pay gap between full-time unionized women and men in Canada, based on 2008 per hour pay. Unionization can be an equalizing force. Source



Women picketing for Federation of Women Teachers Associations

Eighty-one percent of the members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) are women and, in many ways, the history of women teachers reflects the struggles of all Canadian women.

women sitting at tables

How do you demonstrate the power of language to students weaned on a diet of dramatic and engaging visuals? I have them close their eyes and picture an image to accompany the famous words of British poet, Robert Browning: "A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”