Feminist Philosophers

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Canadian study: female academics still lag behind when it comes to recognition, compensation November 22, 2012

Filed under: academia,bias,Canada,jobs — Lady Day @ 12:50 pm

Remember back in 2010 when Canada’s federal government awarded 19 prestigious (and lucrative!) research chairs to men and none to women? (If not, you’re probably not a Canadian woman academic.) Well, one of the upshots is a just-released 254-page report by the Council of Canadian Academies. The report arrives at some conclusions that Feminist Philosophers have known for a while: that academic women aren’t promoted, published or paid as much as their male counterparts; that childcare pressures are part of the story; and that implicit bias and stereotype threat are factors too. There’s a discussion of the report in today’s Globe and Mail.

Here’s a quote:

…subtle biases in hiring and promotions are still pervasive – often unintentionally. Women represent a third of all full-time faculty, but just 21.7 per cent of full professors in Canada. “A lot of times it’s perception in people’s head, and that’s because the perception is based on male characteristics to advance, and then women may present different characteristics,” said Catherine Mavriplis, an engineering professor at the University of Ottawa who holds a national chair for women in science and engineering.

Thanks, AM and MH!

 

5 Responses to “Canadian study: female academics still lag behind when it comes to recognition, compensation”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    In the article we see the age-old counterargument “This isn’t to say that women aren’t in those fields, Fortier hastens to say – it’s just that they’ve only started to enter them in great numbers in Canada and elsewhere in recent years and it will take a while for them to reach the senior levels sought to fill the Canadian Excellence Research Chairs (CERCs). “I know that they are there, they are coming, and in 10 years, watch out,” Fortier said.”
    I for one am extremely pessimistic that we will witness a flood of qualified females in the applicant pool. If you look at the APA list of new faculty (TT faculty, i.e., hired over the last few years), it seems to me that high-prestige faculties (on high up on Leiter’s gourmet list) have, on average lower numbers of TT faculty. I didn’t do the math, so I’d be interested to see if anyone can confirm this statistically.
    Speaking from own experience I applied for numerous jobs (I am a woman and ethnic minority) and not a single one of the prestigious schools I applied to invited me. By contrast, I got several interviews from schools that were not Leiterrific. There may be other reasons for why I wasn’t shortlisted for the top schools – they are, after all, very competitive. But it seems that very high prestige entry-level jobs still discriminate more against women and other minorities than lower-prestige entry jobs. Suppose I am lucky enough as a woman and minority to end up with a TT, but one at a teaching-intensive school, with little research funding (so no big conferences I can attend, unless I pay my own way). Even if I’m a brilliant researcher, how big is the chance that I’ll end up eligible for one of those prestigious chairs under these circumstances? Not very high. By contrast, had I been male and white, perhaps I would have ended up at a TT with low teaching load, and plenty of opportunities to network at prestigious conferences. The differences in pay, renown, research opportunities are stark.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Sorry, in my previous comment, I wanted to write “that leiterrific schools seem to have lower numbers of TT faculty who are non-white or female”.

  3. also anonymous Says:

    “Speaking from own experience I applied for numerous jobs (I am a woman and ethnic minority) and not a single one of the prestigious schools I applied to invited me. By contrast, I got several interviews from schools that were not Leiterrific.”

    Speaking as a white man, I had the same experience.

    “But it seems that very high prestige entry-level jobs still discriminate more against women and other minorities than lower-prestige entry jobs.”

    That’s possible, but it would be nice to see some evidence for an accusation like that.

  4. annejjacobson Says:

    Their is at least some evidence in relative rates of hiring. Plus, there are a number of studies that show the presence of a woman’s name on a cv results in its being lower ranked than it is with a man’s name.

  5. Also Anonymous Says:

    Plus, there are a number of studies that show the presence of a woman’s name on a cv results in its being lower ranked than it is with a man’s name.

    I think you must have misread the sentence I quoted. Unless there are studies that show that the presence of a woman’s name on a cv makes a bigger difference to decisions by “high prestige” philosophy departments.


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