UPEI's professor gender gap slowly narrowing says acting dean

The University of Prince Edward Island falls below the national averages of male versus female full-time professors.

Kathy Gottschall-Pass says it will take time to reach parity on staffing

UPEI's acting dean of science Kathy Gottschall-Pass says parity is slowly being reached.

The University of Prince Edward Island falls below the national averages of male versus female full-time professors according to numbers released by Statistics Canada. 

The numbers show 40 per cent of full-time academic staff are female on average at universities in Canada.

But UPEI's numbers are sitting at 38 per cent, the number that was the national average six years ago.

Acting dean of science Kathy Gottschall-Pass said change is happening slowly. 

"If I break down our numbers and I look at faculty who are under 50 we have a one-to-one ratio of male to female faculty. But if we look at faculty over 50 years of age it's a two to one male to female ratio."

Salaries affected as well

That two-to-one male to female ratio also has had an affect on salaries. A 2016 study shows female professors made $12,000 lower than the average salary of male professors.

Gottschall-Pass added that when a faculty member is hired they may remain there for 30 years. 

"So in order to move us forward to a more equitable ratio of male to female faculty members it's going to take
some time."

Gottschall-Pass said a new joint equity committee formed through recent collective bargaining will be educating hiring committees to eradicate gender bias, if there is any. 

She also believes, given hiring trends, UPEI will significantly narrow the gap on gender parity in the next 10 to 15 years.