Toronto is one of the best Canadian cities for women, according to a new report, but it’s not all good news.
Canada’s largest city came in eighth place overall in the report conducted by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The city moved up two spots from 2017.
Using the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Index, which looks at gender disparities across different areas, the study analyzed 26 of the country’s largest metro areas (those with a population of 150,000 or more). These cities were then rated on factors such as women’s economic security, education, leadership positions, health, and personal security.
Toronto scored high when it came to women’s education and personal safety, which came in third and second place, respectively. Not only are Torontonian women more likely to have college or university degrees than men, but the number of university grads from 2013 to 2017 increased by 5.4 per cent, the report noted.
The city ranked high in personal security since the rates of partner violence and sexual assault are lower than in other cities. And when it came to the criminal harassment of women, Toronto landed in the middle (14th place), thus giving the city a high rating in women’s safety.
Economic security, health, and leadership positions are the factors that pulled down Toronto’s overall standing.
While more than three-quarters of female workers, aged 15 to 64, have full-time jobs, the gender employment gap in Toronto is still one of the largest when compared to other big cities. Ontario’s capital has the third biggest gap out of 26 cities at 89.8 per cent.
Despite this, women’s earnings have increased. In 2016, the average salary was $31,220, compared to $29,000 nationally.
As for health and leadership positions, the report found Toronto was lagging behind. Although Toronto’s life expectancy is higher than the national average, men (65.3 per cent) are more likely than women (59.6 per cent) to report their health as very good or excellent.
And when it comes to leadership, women only make up one-third (32 per cent) of elected officials, which is below the national average of 34 per cent.
“Women are more likely to vote in local elections, but in large cities, they make up only one-third of city councillors and only one in five mayors,” the study noted of all Canadian cities. “In our workplaces, women make up 48 per cent of all employees but only one-third of managers, most of them concentrated in middle management.”
Overall, Kingston, Ont., was named the best Canadian city for women, with high scores when it came to employment rates, education, and health care.
Rounding out the top five cities with the smallest gender gaps were St. John’s, Victoria, Hamilton, Ont., and Vancouver, B.C.
Visit here for the full list of rankings.