These are the conclusions of a new report, commissioned by the federal government two years ago after a prominent research granting program failed to choose even one woman for 19 awards. The 252-page study from the Council of Canadian Academies presents a highly critical look at the barriers limiting the progress of women’s academic careers and argues that Canada is not fulfilling its commitments to gender equity as a result.
Some key findings:
- Biases in recruitment and evaluation of women academics can negatively impact career trajectories.
- A persistent salary gap – with even full professors making 95 per cent of male salaries – can have effects over the long term, including in pension payments.
- Women in universities spend more time on childcare than men, and promotion and tenure processes lack exit and re-entry points that would make a career more flexible.
- Socialization and stereotypes define social roles and female students report lower levels of self-confidence in physical sciences, computer science, engineering and mathematics.
- There is a disconnect between the subjects students study in high school and their career goals, particularly in science and math fields.