Gender Breakdown of Sunshine List Top 100 Earning First Names

Here is a very quick, possibly flawed, analysis of gender represenation within the Ontario Sunshine list. I wanted to see how women are represented within the list and if any improvements are being made within the upper echelons of Ontario institutions.

To do this analysis, I calculated the top-100 earning first names (John, Robert, Katherine, etc) for each year and manually tagged those names as male or female. My data is from this National Post article - they conveniently published a table at the bottom of the article that loads yearly data from a separate file on their server. I snagged that data and pulled it into a database.

The full Sunshine list for 1996 to 2014 has 780884 entries. By looking at only the top-100 earning first names for each year, the dataset is reduced to 379828 (49%). My method for picking the top-100 names is lossy, in that "Janet" and "Dr. Janet" are not treated the same. Hopefully this does not skew the gender comparison as "Dr. Bob" and "Bob" are treated the same way.

I took this short cut because the alternative is manually tagging each of the 39,000 unique first names gender. I hope you'll allow that by only tagging 100 names (that comprise 49% of the dataset) we still get useful results. I'm happy to get scolded by a mathy stats person in the comments!

The first chart shows the average salary, by gender, for people who match one of the top-100 earning names each year. To my eye, this chart is trending the wrong way. Men are still earning more, and in recent years appear to be solidifying the margin by which they earn more than women.

Could this be a side-effect of the lack of inflationary adjustment? It could be that more and more boomer-age men are showing up in the list as they pass the fixed $100k/yr sunshine limit? When the Sunshine list was formed the $100k line was considered to be executive level pay. Now regular bus drivers and police officers are breaking through, categories that were dominated by men years ago.

I suppose I could account for that by changing the cut-off manually after factoring for inflation. Food for thought as you look at the numbers.

Chart 1: Average Salary of Top 100 Earning First Names (open in Google Docs)

Our next chart shows the gender breakdown within the top-100 earning first names by year. We can see women's representation improving over a 10 year period, from 1999 to 2009, then stalling from 2010 to 2014. 

Chart 2: Gender of Top 100 Earning First Names (open in Google Docs)

Is this a useful look into the data? Who knows.