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Employment and wage equity remain elusive for academics in Canada’s universities and colleges

(Ottawa – April 6, 2018) A new report from the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) reveals that the academic workforce is not as diverse as either the student body it serves, or the general labour force, and that wage gaps remain entrenched between men and women; and between white, Indigenous and racialized academic staff.

The report compares the number of women, racialized and   Aboriginal teachers working in Canada’s universities and colleges, and their type of employment and average earnings, drawing from census data.  The analysis shows persistent diversity and equity challenges.

 “These findings are discouraging because universities and colleges have talked often and publicly about committing to equity and diversity, but the fact remains that real progress is terribly slow in coming,” says CAUT Equity Committee Co-Chair Pat Armstrong.

The CAUT report — Underrepresented and Underpaid: diversity and equity among Canada’s post-secondary education teachers — concludes that:

  • Wage gaps exist between men and women and worsen for racialized and Aboriginal university and college teachers.  The wage gap is deepest for racialized women professors who earn on average 68 cents for every dollar earned by their white male colleagues;
  • Racialized, Aboriginal and women teachers are less-likely to have full-time, full-year employment;
  • Racialized post-secondary teachers have the highest rates of unemployment; and
  • The number of assistant professor positions has declined considerably which will slow progress as women, racialized and Aboriginal academics are unable to secure tenure-track positions.

“The data is revealing but comes as no surprise, especially to those who face inequality every day. Renewed commitments to equity from institutions and governments must be met with new approaches,” Armstrong argues. “We can and must do better to address discrimination in employment at Canada’s universities and colleges.”


Media contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers
(o) 613-726-5186 (c) 613-222-3530