UW finds pay inequity among faculty members

Graphic by Lena Yang
Graphic by Lena Yang

As of September 1, the University of Waterloo will be making adjustments to faculty salaries to account for anomalies found in a recent pay equity review. UW will be spending about $1 million to account for these anomalies. The review, which was conducted by a committee comprised of six members from both the university’s administration and faculty association, narrowed down two kinds of anomaly adjustments that needed to be made in order to accomodate for the differences.

“We found a gender inequity. We were very vigilant in articulating those in specific ways so that they can be acted upon and we are delighted that the university responded so quickly,” said Jean Andrey, co-chair of the committee and dean of the faculty of environment at the University of Waterloo.

The first anomaly was for faculty members, both men and women, who were found to have low salaries.

Female faculty members were earning on average between 96 per cent and 98.5 per cent of male salaries

-Jean Andrey, dean of the faculty of environment at UW

According to Andrey, the value of additional compensation these individuals will receive is based on a regression model that analyzes their salaries visive what they should be on average.

Factors include the kind of scholarship they’re in, the years they’ve been working at the university, what their highest degree is and so forth.

Once the university had looked at individual cases of pay inequity, they moved on to add gender into the equation.

After noticing that a gender bias also exists, the same regression model was used to analyze for the exact value.

“The gender specific adjustment that is made is the same for all women who are part of the bargaining unit made in 2015,” said Andrey.

“Even though we found a difference between men and women salaries all else being held equal, still female faculty members were earning on average between 96 per cent and 98.5 per cent of male salaries for the different academic groups.”

This review follows that of a less comprehensive one done by the university a number of years ago, for which Andrey also sat on the committee.

Examining gendered pay inequities has become a prominent issue in workplaces all across Canada.

“I believe that all institutions need to pay attention to equity, both as it pertains to gender lines and other dimensions as well. This is not just a university issue, it’s a broader societal issue that we need to be [sic] attentive to,” Andrey added.

 “The university remains focused on understanding and addressing the many factors that influence pay inequity and so part of that will very much effect the way we pay attention to the issues in the future.”

Following the University of Waterloo’s announcement to tackle pay inequity, Wilfrid Laurier University will also be looking into anomalies that exist among their own faculty member’s compensation.

“At Laurier, a bilateral committee composed of representatives of the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association and the administration are reviewing salary anomalies to identify any gender-based salary differentials for full-time faculty and librarians. This committee is in process and outcomes of the review will be provided to the university community as appropriate when available,” said a statement released from Laurier administration.

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