Canadian Academia and the Faculty Gender Gap

In recent decades, women have made substantial gains in nearly all realms of education. They are more likely than men to attend postsecondary; they perform better academically during their studies; and they are often more engaged in extracurricular activities and campus life. Women make up over half of postsecondary graduates across Canada, and the number of women faculty in Canada has also grown considerably.

Nevertheless, progress toward equity in faculty appointments and earnings at Canadian universities is slow.

In this introductory report, we provide background and context for subsequent reports and briefs focused on the gender gap in appointments, promotion, earnings and experience of women faculty at Ontario universities. We review the legislative context of gender discrimination in academic employment, provide an overview of the current research on gender disparity among faculty at Ontario universities, and explore some of the theoretical frameworks that will help us understand persistent gender disparity in academic employment.