This International Women’s Day, academic staff unite with women across the country and around the world to celebrate achievements of women and the advancements that have been made towards gender equality.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) celebrates the collective gains made over the years, but we also recognize that much more needs to be done and that there are still barriers for women in the academy, particularly Indigenous women and women from equity-seeking groups.
The CAUT report Underrepresented and Underpaid: Diversity and Equity among Canada’s Post-Secondary Education Teachers highlighted some of the remaining obstacles for women academics including the fact that they are still underpaid and overrepresented in lower ranks, and in short-term contract positions.
A national survey of 2,600 contract academic staff (CAS) conducted by CAUT also found that women CAS work more hours per course per week than their male colleagues, and are more likely to be in low-income households. These issues must be addressed so that women can participate fully in the academy.
The next federal election will be in the fall. It is time for all political parties to commit to providing the policy and funding to ensure equity in our colleges and universities.