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​University of Alberta

Available Studies

The academic staff association in 2017 put forward a comprehensive pay equity report, which primarily used regression analysis and Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. The report is based on data from public sources, rather than administrative data. Furthermore, demographic information such as visible minority and Indigenous status were included in the dataset.

Salary data was procured from the University's "Compensation Disclosure List", which the University is required to produce pursuant to the provincial government's Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act (often called the "sunshine list"). The data set includes only those individuals with salaries greater than $125,000. This data was merged with publicly available data from the University’s website to obtain data on rank, experience, and faculty. Furthermore, the study's authors obtained demographic information -- gender, visible minority status, and Indigenous status -- for each faculty member in the dataset via online search (using In total, there were approximately 1,000 observations in the sample. Faculty that were not Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor were removed, as were faculty in leadership roles above the Dean level. Faculty with an MD were also removed as only a part of their salaries come from the University.

The study performed parallel analysis for two subgroups of the data set: the professorate with a leadership role and the professorate without a leadership role. For the regression analysis, the research team estimated six different regression specifications, two of which made extensive use of interaction terms to test how gender, visible minority status, and Indigenous status influence other determinants of salary. The regressions used both the natural log of salaries and salaries in dollars as the dependent variable on six different model specifications.

The study also presented findings from a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition, which used one of the six regressions specifications. The decomposition is performed using a men's regression as a base, as well as a pooled regression.7

Overall, the regression analyses for both sub-samples found that gender itself was not a statistically significant determinant of salaries, but several of the interaction terms were statistically significant. The Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions revealed a similar trend. Furthermore, the decompositions suggest gender differences in the rate of promotion. Despite the dataset being limited to faculty that make more than $125,000, the study suggests some pay inequities for the three equity groups.

The final report makes several recommendations, including a call for the University to undertake a more comprehensive review using administrative data. This analysis would include data on faculty with salaries of less than $125,000. 

In 2019, a University-appointed Task Force undertook a regression analysis using administrative data by gender among faculty staff ranks (Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and Full Professors). It determined statistically significant discrepancy only in the Full Professor rank.  The academic staff association asserted that a lack of gender pay equity is experienced among all faculty staff ranks, notwithstanding the information presented in the Report. In 2019 the association and the university bargained for remedies for women professors, and signed a Gender Pay Equity agreement8 which saw women Full Professors receive a 5.8 per cent increase rolled into base salary and a one time cash sum based on years of service. All women faculty members received a $1,500 payment for “general damages for injury to dignity and self-worth.”

7 Gardeazabal, J. and Arantza U.. More on the Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions: Review of Economics and Statistics. 86(4): 1034-1036. February 2004: (PDF) More on Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions (

8 Board of Governors of the University of Alberta and the Association of the Academic Staff of the University of Alberta (AASUA). Gender Pay Equity Memorandum of Agreement. 2019.