Number of female professors in Canada up 28 per cent in six years

Figures also show that female teaching staff earned between 95 and 98 per cent of their male counterparts

December 12, 2017
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The proportion of female teaching staff at Canadian universities has increased by 9 per cent in the past six years, primarily due to a large increase in the number of female professors, according to new data.

Women accounted for almost 40 per cent of full-time academic teaching staff at Canadian universities in 2016-17, up from 36.6 per cent in 2010-11, new figures from Statistics Canada show.

The increase was owed to a 28.3 per cent rise in the number of female full professors and an 18.2 per cent rise in the number of female associate professors, although the number of female assistant professors fell by 12 per cent.

This matches the overall trend of the data, which show an increase in the total number of full professors (up 8.6 per cent) and associate professors (up 5.2 per cent), and a decline in the number of assistant professors (down 15.9 per cent) and the rank below assistant professor (down 2.1 per cent).

The data also show that the male-female salary gap is relatively narrow across academic ranks. Female academic teaching staff earned between 95.3 per cent and 97.7 per cent of their male counterparts on average, depending on their position, with the widest gap at the level of full professorship.

In 2016-17, the median salary of full-time academic teaching staff was C$129,195 (£76,000), up 6.6 per cent since 2010-11.

Paul Davidson, president of Universities Canada, said he was “very pleased to see this growth in gender equity on university campuses”, but “more must be done”.

“Adding to the diversity of voices, knowledge and expertise across the university community is essential to achieving excellence in teaching, research and innovation,” he said.

Overall, the figures show that the total number of academic teaching staff has increased by 1.6 per cent since 2010-11, while university enrolments increased by 7.5 per cent between 2010-11 and 2014-15 (the latest year for which data are available).

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