UBC announces pay rise for (many) women to correct for gender inequality

Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins writes:

UBC [University of British Columbia] just announced a “2 per cent salary increase to base academic salary retroactive to July 1st 2010, for all current full-time female faculty members in a tenure-track, grant or tenured position (Instructor I, Senior Instructor, Professor of Teaching, Instructor II, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor)” after discovering “a pay differential of 2% … that could only be explained by gender” among those groups. This is a striking move. Also striking: there’s no mention of whether gender disparity in the pay of non-TT/T faculty was investigated or will be corrected for.

As KH noted in an email, it would be really interesting to know how common this sort of correction is in academia. Any thoughts?

3 thoughts on “UBC announces pay rise for (many) women to correct for gender inequality

  1. There is also no mention made of whether the salary correction will include a correction to the University’s pension contribution. My own institution, just up the road, (Simon Fraser), was the site of a bit of a battle to ensure that the salary correction came along with a pension correction. The correction happened in the 1990s, but the pension issue was still live when I arrived at SFU in 2002. There is a document from 2003 available here: http://www.sfu.ca/~acawomen/Research/documents/GenderBasedAnomaliesReview.pdf

  2. I am curious as to whether UBC’s pay scale for sessional teaching would have enough flexibility to allow for a gender disparity. At Calgary there is no flexibility about starting salary and no merit raises for sessionals. They are on a fixed grid that allows no room for disparity but only for bias at the point of being hired or not hired.

  3. Ann, I can’t speak to other universities, but I was a staff member at a university with a similar “fixed” grid, and it wasn’t so fixed as folks thought. There were several people paid outside the grid, and the pay was approved on the argument that certain people were especially desirable because of non-academic experience, limited alternatives for the university, and what have you. The decisions were usually made at the request of a department chair for special consideration at the level of the deans office. It was my impression this was unusual in the humanities, but not so unusual in other areas.

Comments are closed.