Forthcoming report finds that interns are primarily female, often underpaid

May 22, 2014

A new report from researchers at the University of Victoria and the Canadian Intern Association says that the majority of interns are women and make less than the minimum wage. The report comes as several provinces, including Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Alberta are critically examining the prevalence of unpaid internships. Claire Seaborn, head of the Canadian Intern Association, said that a lack of federal data makes it difficult to determine the exact number of unpaid internships in Canada. The new report, however, found that 83% of interns surveyed said that they earned less than the provincial minimum wage or nothing at all. Most of the survey’s participants were female; the authors of the report point out that many of the industries that rely most heavily on unpaid interns, including media, entertainment, and journalism, are female-dominated. Seaborn also noted that government funding for internships is frequently targeted at traditionally male-dominated STEM fields. Toronto Star | CTV