Laurier raises pay for female profs after gender equity analysis

Female professors and associate professors at Wilfrid Laurier University will see a bump in their salaries after a committee found women were being paid less than their male counterparts.

Full and associate professors to see bump in pay retroactive to July 1, 2016

Female full and associate professors at Wilfrid Laurier University are having their salaries increased after a gender equity analysis found they were being paid less than their male counterparts. The committee that did the analysis found no wage gap for assistant professors. (GatorEG/Wikipedia)

Female professors and associate professors at Wilfrid Laurier University will get a bump in their salaries after a gender equity analysis found they were making less than their male counterparts.

The move means 119 associate professors and 33 professors will see their salaries increase and the move is retroactive to July 1, 2016.

Associate professors will get an increase of three per cent while full professors will get an increase of 3.9 per cent.

The committee doing the analysis did not find a gender difference for those working as assistant professors.

Laurier isn't the first university to look at the gender pay gap issue – the University of Waterloo announced in August 2016 it was increasing the pay of all female faculty after a review.

Pam Cant, the university's assistant vice president of human resources, told CBC News it was an important issue for Laurier to address.

"We want to make sure that gender equity with respect to wages and terms and conditions of employment is in line and we actively support that," Cant said.

Gender wage gap a systemic issue

The school community knew there was a committee tasked with looking into the issue, Cant said, and they were looking forward to hearing the results of the analysis.

"I've had a number of positive comments from faculty members that feel that Laurier's taking a step in the right direction," Cant said.

Tammy Schirle, an associate professor at Laurier and a WLUFA representative on the joint committee, said the move by Laurier addresses a systemic problem.

"We know that men tend to dominate the senior ranks and higher-paying fields of research. However, after accounting for such factors among faculty members within our institution, a gender pay gap remains that reflects historic and systemic issues in the determination of salaries," Schirle said in a release about the decision from the university.

"It is this systemic part of the pay gap that Laurier is now taking steps to address."

Cant said Laurier has addressed the issue as completely as they can. The committee also recommended forming another committee to "keep an eye" on equality issues at the university to ensure the gap doesn't re-emerge.

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