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REF NO.: 212

SUBJECT: Women face gender barrier for on-the-job training
DATE: Aug. 10, 2009

Women are less likely than men to receive training from their employers, according to a new study from Memorial University’s Faculty of Business.
The study, published in Perspectives in Labour and Income, shows that women continue to face barriers in the labour market, in terms of both earning and training.
 “The less money you make and the less education you have, the less likely you are to receive employer supported training,” says Dr. Gordon Cooke, assistant professor of organizational behaviour and human resource management in the Faculty of Business Administration. “Among low-wage and less educated workers, women are significantly less likely than men to receive employer supported training.”
Dr. Cooke, along with co-investigators Isik Zeytinoglu and James Chowhan, both of the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, used Statistics Canada’s 2005 Workplace and Employee Survey (WES) to analyze employer-supported training. The WES is comprised of data from 24,197 employees from 6,693 workplaces. The research and analysis are based on data produced by Statistics Canada and the opinions expressed do not represent the views of Statistics Canada.
The researchers found that workers at the low end of the earnings scale, workers with less education, non-unionized workers, and women are all less likely than other workers to receive employer-sponsored training. Moreover, they are also less likely to decline it when it is offered, potentially indicating that they value training more than others. Within each of the first three categories, women also lag behind comparable men in receiving training.
“Training increases earning potential and access to higher-quality employment opportunities,” Dr. Cooke explained. “Having a highly trained workforce also benefits employers in terms of productivity and adaptability, allowing them to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage in today’s global business market.”

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