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​University of Waterloo

Available Studies

The 2009 study is a continuation of investigation into gender equity pay dating back to 1977. The University employed a method of individual case reviews, which was informed by a regression analysis as part of a gender equity study. Following the most recent of a total of four studies (1977, 1988, 1993, and 2009). The 2016 study is a review of the, then, existing processes used to address salary anomalies and to standardize an approach to be used across the entire university. The anomalies under question are not limited to gender equity discrepancies.    

The 2009 study used a data set of 951 faculty obtained from Institutional Analysis and Planning (IAP).   The data used in the 2016 study included 1,171 full-time and part-time faculty. 

The 2009 study did not formally estimate a gap in salary due to gender. Rather, a “model salary” was produced from the IAP data considering current starting salaries, recent merit increases, years of service at UW as well as other experience. A regression analysis was used in the screening process, however the exact regression is not specified. The “model salary” was calculated for female faculty as a screen, if the faculty member fell below her “model salary” by more than 10% or $5,000. The regressions were conducted on subgroups rather than the whole data set. The subgroups were aligned according to rank, presumably this is used instead of using rank as a regressor. Those individuals were then contacted and asked if they would like an individual investigation of their salary by the Working Group on Women’s Salary Equity.

A multiple regression was used to identify salary anomalies. Salary was regressed on merit (a score on performance reviews), the difference between years of highest degree and year of hire, years since hire, outstanding performance awards, highest degree, rank, academic group. Academic groups were based on the competitive starting salaries of specific groupings of departments that do not neatly fall along faculty categories. The same criteria for the screen (%10 or $5,000 below the model salary) was used in the 2016 study. The study then also includes gender as an explanatory factor in the regression analysis on a data set that is modified to adjust for previously detected anomalies, and a gender pay gap is estimated. As well, a study of the merit awards was conducted to determine if there is any explanatory power in the gender variable.

The screening process identified 72 women out of a possible 236 who were candidates for further investigation. There were three groups that generally classify the 72 women identified: those who were candidates for immediate adjustments, those who were likely to trend towards a salary anomaly and who should be monitored by the dean's office, and those who were picked up by the screen but did not require remedial action. In the 2016 review, 59 anomalies were detected and recommended for further review. An adjustment for anomalies was conducted on the data set by moving increasing the individual observations up and rounding to the next $500 increment. After the adjustment was made, a regression that included gender found that a $2,905 pay differential was detected in favour of male faculty. When merit awards were analysed, gender did not appear to be statistically significant, while those of higher rank were more likely to receive a merit award.     

The 2009 study further recommended that UW institutionalize a system-wide review of possible salary anomalies more frequently than once every 10 years. Further that anomalies in male salaries should also be addressed, and that the source of anomalies could arise from the way performance reviews are conducted, especially with regards to maternity leave. In the 2016 study, it was recommended that the systemic gender anomaly be adjusted so that women receive a $2,905 increase in annual salary. Further, individuals who were identified in the first scan of salary anomalies (the regression that did not include gender) were recommended for individual adjustments.

The 2016 report suggested the methodology followed in the report be used regularly (a time frame long enough to obtain the data necessary, but not otherwise specified), and university wide.