(Pexels/Contributed)

B.C. women are financially stretched, alarmingly stressed: survey

Governments, employers and financial institutions urged to resolve the financial health gender gap

Despite years of gradual improvements and movement towards gender equality, women of all ages in B.C. still face more challenges to their financial health and well-being than their male counterparts, a new survey suggests.

Released ahead of International Women’s Day, a Vancity Financial survey says that women in the province are most concerned about housing affordability, cost of living increases and sticking to household budgets.

In those key areas, more than 50 per cent of respondents say they lose sleep at night worrying about their pocket book – and for some, the stress takes an emotional and even physical toll.

About half of B.C. millennials say that money worries make them physically unwell, the report shows, with six-in-10 citing “extreme emotional stress.”

The report also highlights financial and economic differences between women in B.C. and other parts of Canada – with no single factor contributing to women’s financial woes.

Using data from the 2017 Canadian Financial Health Index and other sources, the report finds that B.C. women are paid less per hour than the national average for women. Meanwhile, their average employment income per year is 35 per cent less than men in B.C., with an average salary of $34,149 verses $52,171 earned by men.

The report also grabs from a variety of other surveys that reveal, at least in corporate Canada, women are less likely than men to be promoted to the next level, “at almost every stage of their careers.”

According to a 2017 scorecard in which Minerva BC rated the “faces of leadership” within the province, women held only 19 per cent of their board positions, on average, and just 20 per cent of their senior executive leadership positions.

Statistics Canada has identified the high cost of child care, low availability of regulated childcare spaces and lack of elder care in urban centres such as Metro Vancouver as factors keeping some women from full participation in the job market.

Vancity says women can take steps on their own to overcome some issues, but it calls for governments, employers and financial institutions to resolve the financial health gender gap.

“This is a call to action, and time for everyone, women and men, to acknowledge that gender-based financial disparities remain a deeply-embedded reality in Canada, and especially in B.C.,” says Sophie Salcito, a Vancity wealth adviser.

The Vancity study says more financial literacy courses can help women bridge financial health gaps and it urges governments to diversify vocational interests among girls and women, while companies are encouraged to develop and stick with equal pay policies.

International Women’s Day is Thursday.

Money Troubled: Inside B.C.'s financial health gender gap by Ashley Wadhwani on Scribd

Just Posted

Police investigating ‘unprovoked attack’ at Uptown bus stop

Man was attacked while waiting at Douglas St bus stop Sunday night

Intense winds could reach 70km in Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issued wind warning for Dec. 17

Saanich police are seeking suspect in sexual assault report

Incident happened early Saturday morning near Rudd Park

PHOTOS: Skate with Santa a smashing success in Oak Bay

Missed the fun? A second event is set for Dec. 18

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Canada’s robust credit rating should calm unease about federal deficits: Trudeau

Trudeau says Canada’s long-running triple-A rating means experts have confidence in his government’s approach to the economy

CIBC shrinks event after Whistler mayor irks oil producers

After Whistler sent a letter to a Calgary-based oilsands giant, several energy firms said they would back out of the CIBC event.

Couple caught up in B.C. Legislature bomb plot to learn their fate

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested as part of an undercover RCMP sting on Canada Day 2013

Trial rights of accused spy for China at risk, lawyer tells Supreme Court

The lawyer for a man accused of trying to spy for China says federal foot-dragging over secrecy is endangering his client’s right to timely justice.

‘Recall fatigue’: Canadians may avoid certain foods over holidays

In the winter, Canada’s supply of fresh fruit and vegetables tends to come from very specific areas.

Sea King helicopters make formal retirement flight Monday

Monday flight pattern includes Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum

Airline passengers could get up to $2,400 for delays, damaged bags: Canadian agency

Canadian Transportation Agency is releasing draft regulations for public feedback

Most Read