Gender Wage Gap
Laurier gender-equity analysis results in salary increases for the university’s female associate and full professors
Waterloo Wilfrid Laurier University will increase the salaries of female associate and full professors based on an analysis of gender-based salary differentials conducted by a joint university-union committee.
The committee established by the university administration and the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association (WLUFA) recommended that salaries of female faculty at the rank of associate professor be increased by 3.0 per cent and that female faculty at the rank of full professor be increased by 3.9 per cent to address a gender wage gap.
The joint committee did not find a gender difference in salary at the rank of assistant professor. This can be attributed to intentional efforts by the university in recent years to monitor starting salaries to ensure equity. Librarian salaries were also reviewed, and no gender-based differences were found.
The university and WLUFA have accepted the committee's recommendations. The university will adjust the salaries of female associate and full professors employed at Laurier as of July 1, 2014. The adjustments will be applied retroactively to July 1, 2016. In total, 119 associate professors and 33 full professors will receive a pay adjustment.
"Gender equity with respect to wages and terms and conditions of employment is an important principle that Laurier must actively support to achieve its goal of enhancing and sustaining diversity within our community," said Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s president-designate and former provost and vice-president: academic.
Similar gender wage gaps have been identified at other Canadian universities, resulting in similar salary increases for female faculty members.
Laurier Associate Professor Tammy Schirle, a WLUFA representative on the joint committee, is an economist with a research expertise in gender pay issues. “Several Canadian universities have found gender gaps in the average salaries of their faculty members,” said Schirle, who is also the director of the Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis. “Part of this is easily explained: 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. It is this systemic part of the pay gap that Laurier is now taking steps to address.”
The Laurier committee began its work in spring 2016 and delivered a final report of recommendations in February 2017. The committee analyzed salaries to capture the relationship between the salaries and characteristics of individuals, including years of service, individual rank and gender.
The university and WLUFA will also establish a Bilateral Committee on Systemic Equal Pay Issues to develop practices aimed at preventing gender and other systemic wage gaps, and to ensure equitable compensation and employment practices.