The Supposed Plight of University Men
The Globe seems rather agitated about the plight ofÂ male university students . On top of a front page story by Elizabeth Church yesterday pointing out the now rather well known fact that female undergraduate enrollment now outstrips male enrollment by a margin of 58% to 42%, they editorialize today as follows:
“Indira Samarasekera, the president of the University of Alberta, was right to show concern for the future education of Canada’s young men…
The barbs that have been directed at Ms. Samarasekera are unwarranted and shortsighted. She warned that the country’s universities are unwittingly building a “demographic bomb”: for the first time, men are noticeably underrepresented at Canadian universities, accounting for only 42 per cent of their students despite making up half the nation’s population.
She worries “that we’ll wake up in 20 years and we will not have the benefit of enough male talent at the heads of companies and elsewhere,”
The editorial does go on to note that “women hold only 5 per cent of the country’s top jobs and are, on average, still paid less than men.” But they could have considerably amplified this by noting that increased university enrollment among women relative to men has had absolutely no impact to date on the pay gap between male and female university graduates.Â Indeed the ratio of pay of full time/full year women university graduates to male graduates has fallen from a peak of 72% in the mid 1990s.Â The most likely explanation is that men continue to dominate well-paid professional and managerial jobs requiring a university education in the private sector, while women predominate in lower paid public sector jobs requiring a university degree. The shift of income to the very high end of the income distribution has overwhelmingly favored men over women. In short, the hold of men on top positions in the Canadian job market is scarcely threatened.
The research basis for the above can be found in a recent CLC paper “Women in the Workforce: Still a Long Way from Equality.”