The wealth gap between women and men in Quebec is “glaring” and “much larger” than salaries, according to a study released Thursday by the National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS).
Based on the observation that there is little data on the subject, an INRS researcher, specialist in family dynamics and finance, assessed the wealth differences between the two genders.
“Wealth is an even more important resource for well-being than income, especially because it can serve as a safety cushion in difficult times and is crucial for well-being in retirement,” explained Maude Pugliese, who works at the INRS Urbanization Culture Society Center, in a press release.
Previously, wealth in Canada was measured at the household level rather than the individual level, which “completely obscured the inequalities between men and women in relationships.”
The conclusions of the survey, conducted among 4,800 people in Quebec, show that the average net worth of men is almost 30% higher than that of women in the province's general adult population.
For couples, the gap is even more pronounced: For people in cohabiting relationships, for example, men's wealth is 80% higher than that of women, at $271,955, compared to just $151,895 for women.
“These gender gaps are much larger than the pay gaps between men and women currently observed in Quebec,” Ms. Pugliese said.
Even when income differences between men and women were taken into account in the calculations, the team still observed a significant wealth gap between the genders.
“We can ask ourselves, for example, whether women inherit to the same extent as men, or whether they receive the same financial services and advice,” added the researcher, who believes this study shows “the need for deeper data collection” on individual and family wealth to better understand these issues.