Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Report: “No Single Solution” to Lack of Women at Research Universities


Canada is not meeting its own objectives in relation to gender equity goals.

Despite woman now outnumbering men at Canada’s universities, there is still a gender divide on campus at research universities. This is according to a report recently released by Council of Canadian Academies titled, “Strengthening Canada’s Research Capacity: The Gender Dimension.”

“Although women have outnumbered men at the student level for over 20 years, these changes have not necessarily been reflected to the extent one would expect in the ranks of the professoriate, particularly at the levels of full professor and senior administration,” said the report.

The report also states that there are 11,064 women with PhDs who are employed full-time in degree-granting institutions, compared to 22,875 men in this category.

It also states there is no single reason for the disparity. There are a number of factors such as:

  • Canada is not meeting its own objectives in relation to gender equity goals
  • Socialization, schemas, and stereotypes define social roles and expectations
  • A lack of role models who encourage engagement with science and math
  • The paucity of women in leadership positions makes it difficult for other women to envision themselves as leaders
  • Institutional practices that negatively influence the career trajectories of women researchers
  • A small but persistent salary gap
  • The paid work-family life balance is a particular challenge for women researchers with families

“The benefits of a diverse research community extend far beyond the walls of universities… A wider pool of researchers can translate into a wider range of excellence, with clear benefits for all Canadians,” said the report.

Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
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