A new study says women have been no more likely to quit their jobs than men since the early 1990s, putting the lie to a common excuse for gender wage gaps.
Female workers have long been considered more likely than men to quit their jobs, to be absent or to take more days off for family reasons — a gender difference that some have used to explain the fact men are paid more on average than women.
But a new study by Statistics Canada documenting gender differences in quitting and absenteeism shows that differences between the sexes have been shrinking since 1994 to the point where they now are virtually non-existent.
The study found, for example, that 5.5 per cent of men quit their jobs in 1984, compared with seven per cent of women.
But, by 1994, the rate for women was 5.6 per cent, almost identical to the rate of 5.5 per cent for men; in 2002, the rates were 7.7 per cent and 7.6 per cent, respectively.
The study found that 4.2 per cent of Canadian women took temporary leaves due to pregnancy and maternity in 2002.
It found, on average, men took two days of paid sick absence, while women took about four days of paid sick absence per year, though there were no gender differences in most other paid and unpaid absences.