Gender-related wage gaps among the social and STEM policy research workforces: a tale of two labour markets

Neeru Gupta, University of New Brunswick
Sarah Balcom, University of New Brunswick
Sarah McRae, University of New Brunswick
Paramdeep Singh, New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training

A growing body of literature has quantified evidence of gender bias and discrimination among social (health, education, social services) and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) professionals within and across countries. Research remains limited among those who contribute to the development and implementation of social and scientific policies and programs. This national study aims to address this knowledge poverty by decomposing gender-related wage gaps among social and STEM policy researchers in Canada. We hypothesize that human capital theory (e.g., investments in advanced education) will not fully explain the persistence of wage gaps between male and female policy researchers aged 25-54. We use population-representative microdata from the 2006 and 2016 Canadian Population Censuses to disentangle wage differences by sex (male/female), traditional labour market measures (e.g., education, hours worked), and components of socially institutionalized gender roles (e.g., childcare). Preliminary findings indicate that social policy researchers are a predominantly female labour group, whereas STEM policy researchers are distinctly predominantly male. Female policy researchers earned significantly less than men. Multiple regression and decomposition analyses will enhance understanding of whether the gender wage gaps are decreasing over time, which factors explain the gaps, and what proportions of the gaps remain unexplained.

Keywords: Policy, Gender, Decomposition analysis/methods, Census data

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session P20.