News Report on Women in the Canadian Academia

(Note: The Community News items are posted in the language of submission.)

Margaret Wente published an article in the Globe and Mail article entitled Gender parity trumps excellence in science?

There has been a long-standing concern amongst policymakers, economists, and trade unions that female academics face subtle biases in hiring and promotion. The creation of conditions that allow excellent teaching and scholarly research to flourish are hindered by the lack of availability of child care and “Gaps in recognition”. Gaps in recognition can subtly undermine the confidence of female faculty. Recent statistics show that “women make up a third of all full-time faculty, but just 21.7 per cent of full professors”. The earnings gap between men and women in the Canadian academia has narrowed over time, but women’s average hourly wages still remain about 16% lower than that earned by men.

This article is partly a response to a new extensive report from the Council of Canadian Academies ( that presents a highly critical look at the barriers limiting the progress of women’s academic careers and argues that Canada is not fulfilling its commitments to gender equity as a result. The main findings of this report are:

  • Biases in recruitment and evaluation of women academics can negatively impact career trajectories.
  • A persistent salary gap – with even full professors making 95 per cent of male salaries – can have effects over the long term, including in pension payments.
  • Women in universities spend more time on childcare than men, and promotion and tenure processes lack exit and re-entry points that would make a career more flexible.
  • Socialization and stereotypes define social roles and female students report lower levels of self-confidence in physical sciences, computer science, engineering and mathematics.
  • There is a disconnect between the subjects students study in high school and their career goals, particularly in science and math fields.

The full article can be found at: