According to the CAUT Almanac, 30.9% of tenured and 43.3% of tenure-track full-time academic staff in Canada are women. At Carleton, the percentage of full-time female academic staff in CUASA is 36.5%. Female academic staff tend to be younger than their male counterparts and are entering full-time positions at a higher rate which is raising the percentage of female academic staff.
However, there is still substantial work to be done to ensure equity between male and female academic staff. Salaries for women still tend to be lower for doing the same work. Nationally in major disciplines, salaries for female academic staff are between 88 and 94% of those for men.
WHAT IS SEXISM?
Sexism is discrimination based on a person’s gender. Normally, this relates to belief that the characteristics of one gender mean that individuals of that gender are more suited to completion of certain occupations or tasks. Traditionally, sexism has been used to mean discrimination by men against women.
In the workplace, sexism most commonly takes the form of wage discrimination. Although there have been steps to address pay equity issues, there is still a persistent gap between Canadian academic staff salaries for men and women. More information can be found in the CAUT Equity Review. Other issues that women encounter in the workplace are discriminatory hiring practices based on occupation (i.e.: ‘men are better at X profession’) and the ‘glass ceiling’, which is said to limit merit based achievement based on gender.
HOW DOES SEXISM IMPACT ACADEMIC STAFF?
The impact of racism on academic staff is primarily the same as discrimination in any other workplace. Sexism can impact everything from an academic’s feeling of belonging in their department to their career progression. Discrimination of all kinds limits the scope of scholarship for marginalized groups as a result of the privliege given to traditional forms of research. As noted above, it also has an impact on salaries – something that many employers (and the government) continue to work on addressing.
WHERE CAN I GET HELP WITH EQUITY ISSUES?
If you are an academic staff member and the issue relates to your employment at Carleton, you can contact CUASA. In addition, Carleton’s Equity Services maintains a list of resources available for members of equity seeking groups. If you are on campus and are facing an immediate threat to your physical safety, contact Campus Safety at 613-520-4444.