Widespread awareness and efforts to increase women’s representation in university faculty roles have helped address overall gaps in Canada. Women’s gains, however, are not evenly distributed across academic disciplines. This report examines trends in the representation of women across academic ranks and disciplines to explore the extent of current and historical disparities. In particular, we focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines due to the continued lack of women entering and progressing through to senior positions in these fields. Interactive visualizations are utilized for the analysis and allow readers to explore data on their own in new and unique ways.
Findings from this report underscore the need to understand equity for women faculty in more complex ways. While representation is important, it must be achieved without segregating women according to traditional stereotypes — parity in representation is not simply a matter of women faculty reaching 50% overall. Equity is also not reduceable to representation. Within the academic setting, gender stereotypes, cultural norms and institutional structures can negatively shape expectations for women. Equity must be understood to include opportunities, experiences and outcomes for women.