UVic Employment Equity Survey 2005 Summary Report
Results of the Survey on Equity at University of Victoria During the Period of April – August 30, 1999
A Brief Summary
Reported by Lily Dyson
Chair of Faculty Women’s Caucus
In response to the concern by the Faculty Women’s Caucus over the state of gender equity at the University of Victoria, a survey of perceptions and experiences regarding equity at UVic was conducted in the spring and summer of 1999. Based of a review of literature and university equity policies, aspects of equity surveyed included the following: Hiring, salary, tenure and promotion, workload, and workplace. A total of 79 regular and sessional faculty members, all but 2 female, responded. The full text is available on request; the following is a brief summary of the results:
In general, university and departmental policies and efforts to recruit women faculty were seen as satisfactory by the majority of the mainly women faculty who responded to the survey. However, retention of women faculty was regarded as more problematic.
Salary stood out as an area of perceived inequity between male and female faculty. Many women faculty felt that gender inequity existed in terms of salaries, although fringe benefits were considered to be more equitable between genders.
There were more varied reactions to the issue of promotion. The majority of respondents perceived that the same opportunities existed for female as for male faculty regarding tenure and promotion. However, a substantial number of the respondents reported that women spend more time in lower ranking positions and that opportunities for viable academic careers are more limited for women than for men. Many women faculty also felt that women have to work harder to obtain the same recognition as men and that extra services provided by women faculty are not recognized in tenure, promotion, and salary decisions. An equal number of respondents agreed and disagreed that “evaluation for tenure and promotion tends to be political”.
Teaching responsibility related to graduate and undergraduate classes was viewed as equally distributed by a large number of respondents, as was university support for professional development. However, a fairly significant number also regarded the opposite. Moreover, more respondents perceived the university policy for child care needs as inadequate and curriculum coverage of diversity insufficient.
More respondents agreed than disagreed that support by male colleagues increases job equity and that the university provides a generally safe and supportive environment for women. However, there were other areas of concern related to the work environment for women. Discrimination against women was regarded as a continuous problem, particularly for feminist research and female-dominated disciplines. Female-oriented disciplines and scholarships were seen as under-valued and female faculty underpaid. Access to resources was also generally perceived as more limited for women than for men. Discrimination against men was not perceived to exist by all but a few respondents.
In summary, the survey on the status of gender equity at the University of Victoria as perceived and experienced by mainly woman faculty reveals that equity is moving towards a satisfactory state in certain areas, but that in other domains remains inadequate. In the view of the participants, the most equitable areas are hiring of women faculty, opportunity for tenure and promotion, distribution of work load, and participation in university governance. The greatest inequities exist in salary and the actual practice of the tenure and promotion policy. As a result, women were perceived as receiving less pay, spending more time in lower ranking positions, and garnering less recognition for their work than their male counterparts. Women also tend to provide more extra services, which, are not recognized in concrete terms for tenure and promotion.
Recommendations for Reactions to the Survey
The results of the survey raised a number of issues which require administrative attention and actions. It is thereby recommended that:
The University administration examine the actual practice of equity policy, especially with regard to salary, tenure, and promotion.
The Administration examine the practice of merits or recognition of services of professional work provided by the faculty which, nonetheless, do not result in the immediate and concrete form of publications and subsequently are not presently credited in tenure, and promotion and salary decisions.
The Administration examine its policy and practice addressing the retention of woman faculty.
The university examine its policy on child care and improve benefits for women faculty with children or expecting to have children in the future.
Efforts be made to improve the university curriculum and general affairs to better cover diversity.
The university raise the profile of feminist research and scholarship. Re-evaluation of support and resources for female-oriented disciplines and scholarships is in order so as to provide the needed recognition and support in such concrete terms as promotion and salary increment.
The university continue its effort to promote equity not only in policy but, especially, in the actual practice.
c.c. University President
Office of Equity Issues
Women’s Advisor to Vice-President Academic