March 8th is International Women’s Day, and once again, the world will be shining the spotlight on exceptional female trailblazers from all over. This year’s theme of #BreakTheBias is a call-to-arms for us to work towards a more diverse, equitable, and gender-free world. After all, women have the right to the same great career options and financial freedom that men do. But achieving these goals means making sure girls have access to tools like higher education, which can help lay the foundation for their success.
A 2021 StatCan report showed that Canadians with post-secondary education earn an average of $18, 868 more than high school graduates. That’s an impressive difference and one that has made parents sit up and take note. That same 2021 StatCan report also revealed that more women today are getting more educated than ever. In fact, women are getting more university degrees than men: 44% of women graduated with university degrees, versus 33% of men. Not long ago, The National Post predicted that two women will graduate for every one man and this trend shows no signs of stopping. Which begs the question: is higher education succeeding in helping bridge the gender gap and level the playing field?
Numbers tell all. A 2022 StatCan report showed that men outnumbered women 69% to 31% in senior management positions. So, while women may be progressing on the education front, they’re not securing the same proportion of higher-paying jobs. That’s not to say that women aren’t making a significant impact and changing the world. The Globe and Mail ROB Magazine recently recognized 50 emerging leaders who are reinventing how Canada does business. An impressive 30 of these changemakers were women. There were influencers, CEOs and founders, fintech dynamos, talent agents, a professor, and even an “intrapreneur” expert who were all helping to level the playing field for women in their own ways. The National Speakers Bureau (NSB) has an equally inspiring roster of female trailblazers. Their list of humanitarians, indigenous activists, athletes, scientists, writers, a sportscaster, entrepreneurs, and even hostage negotiator shows that there are no limits to how far women can go when armed with determination, passion, and higher education.
Higher education can go a long way in helping bridge gaps, inequalities, and banish bias. Yet while the benefits of post-secondary education are clear, the cost of it can make it seem out of reach. That’s where a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) can help. It’s an easy way for parents to save towards post-secondary education and open a world of possibilities for their children. The Government of Canada also boosts your savings by matching 20% of the first $2,500 you contribute to your child’s RESP each year to a lifetime maximum of $7,200 per child.
Why not use International Women’s Day as an inspiration to build a launchpad for your own daughter? Talk to us about starting a CST RESP to help you save for your daughter’s studies after high school. With a CST RESP in place, it just might be your daughter who changes the world next.
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