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Tuesday, November 19, 2019
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The Gender Pay Gap on Campus

Examining the Gender Pay Gap at the University of Regina 

Despite being just as qualified as their male colleagues, women academic staff at the University of Regina are earn significantly less. In fact, according to the most recent data published by Statistics Canada, women academic staff are paid $21,900 less than their male colleagues on campus.

21900 Gap

The above graph shows the $21,900 gap between the average salary of a men academics and women academics at the University of Regina. Source: Statistics Canada.


A Growing Problem 

Unfortunately, the pay gap only increases as women advance in their academic careers. According to the University of Regina’s own research, on average, the longer a woman is employed at the University, the larger the pay gap that exists between her and her male colleagues grows. The table below shows a pay gap of over $10,000 for all years of service combined. However, the table does not include wages earned from market supplements or stipends. If included, the pay gap would likely be larger. 


The above graph from the University of Regina shows that the pay gap between men and women academics grows larger the longer a woman is employed at the University. Source: 2017 University of Regina Academic Workforce Demographics.


Why the gap?

There are many reasons that the gender pay gap exists at the University of Regina, and on other campuses across the country and around the world. Biases when it comes to service work, teaching evaluations, and reference letters, whether intentional or not, are only a few examples of why the wage gap between men and women on campus continues to persist.


Service Work

Studies have shown that women academic staff are more likely than men to do service work (additional duties and work that supports their particular faculty) and conduct more hours of service work per week than male academic staff. This work detracts women academics from their teaching and research -activities that contribute to an academic’s career growth and advancement more than faculty service work.



Teaching Evaluations

Research has shown that student teaching evaluations are biased against women. A recent study showed that students gave lower ratings to women instructors compared to male instructors teaching the same course and content. The study also showed that male students were more likely to give negative evaluations to women instructors, and that male instructors were more likely to be evaluated on skills such as leadership, while women instructors were evaluated on skills like course preparation and content.



Reference Letters

Reference letters written for women are less likely to highlight accomplishments, publications, and research than reference letters written for men, and are more likely to focus on aspects of a woman’s personal life, make gendered stereotypes, and talk more about a woman’s effort rather than their accomplishments or ability.


Together, these all contribute to the gender pay gap, as these factors are all taken into consideration when it comes to promotions and upward career mobility for academic staff. This puts women at a disadvantage compared to their male colleagues.



What can I do?

The first step that we can all take towards closing the pay gay between men and women on campus is to recognize our own biases.

Often people have unconscious biases that are inconsistent with their conscious views. For example a person may believe in gender equality and still have unconscious automatic thoughts about the proper roles of men and women. We all have unconscious biases that are shaped by what we see in media, our culture, and the people around us.

Becoming more aware of our unconscious biases can help change the way we make our decisions. It’s a small, but important step towards making the University of Regina a more equitable place for women.

The University of Regina Faculty Association (URFA) Equity Committee also works to highlight equity issues and advocates to make our campus a more equitable place for everyone.


Links and Resources: 

Check your unconcious biases and become more aware of biases in your decsion making. There are two tests that you can take online here and here. 

Why The Gender Pay Gap is Everyone's Problem- Macleans- February 2018 

For Women of Colour, There's a Gap Within the Pay Gap- Macleans- February 2018 

Pay Equity and Discrimination- Institute for Women's Policy Research 

Five Ways to Win an Argument About the Gender Wage Gap- Institute for Women's Policy Research 

Creating a Level Playing Field in the Workplace- Lean In 

Women in the Workplace 2017 Study- Lean In 

It's a Real Mother- Series on Workplace Discrimination

Dancing Backwards in High Heels: Female Professors Experience More Work Demands and Special Favour Requests, Particularly from Academically Entitled Students- Journal Article, January, 2018  

Scientists Struggle with Sexism and Racism- Washington Post, November, 2017 

Gender Biases in Student Evaluations of Teaching- Journal Article, January, 2017

Why Female Professors Get Lower Ratings- NPR, January, 2016 

Service and Gender Inequity Amoung Faculty- Journal Article, 2011



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