As part of a larger effort supporting an equitable workplace launched in spring 2017 by Charlotte Yates, provost and vice-president (academic), the University of Guelph has undertaken a faculty salary anomaly review.

Understanding and addressing, where necessary, wage gaps and salary anomalies for members of equity-seeking groups was a major priority, says Yates. The review was overseen by the Office of the Provost, with support from the Office of Diversity and Human Rights and the Office of Institutional Analysis and Research, in consultation with the University of Guelph Faculty Association.

To commence the review, faculty members were asked in early 2017 to update their employment equity surveys. Unfortunately, employment equity surveys are often returned blank, and, as such, meaningful data about representation in equity-seeking groups other than women is lacking, Yates says. Given the lack of robustness in the equity data, the University will begin by making gender equity salary adjustments for faculty, followed by general adjustments for faculty whose salaries are determined to be anomalous.

Effective June 1, 2018, all full-time faculty members who identify as women or as non-male will receive an across-the-board increase of $2,050. This affects more than 300 tenured, tenure-track and contractually limited faculty with appointments of more than two years.

“This is an issue of utmost importance to which I have been committed for decades,” says Yates. “Equity and excellence go hand in hand.

Details about the salary model are available online.

Charlotte Yates

Other universities, including the University of Waterloo, the University of British Columbia and McMaster University, have made similar gender equity adjustments.

“Addressing systemic equity barriers and correcting them is a positive thing for the entire University,” Yates says.

“It allows us to support, advance and attract women faculty and leaders, and to trigger cultural change campus-wide.”

The salary review was part of the multi-phase GenEQ initiative, launched by Yates in 2017. The project brings together community members from across the University to discuss and shape gender equity at U of G.

GenEQ involves research to understand gender-based imbalances and solutions and opportunities for change. Other planned goals are to promote the proportional representation of women in senior University leadership positions; to improve recognition of women’s research and scholarship; and to ensure that equity and diversity are systematically embedded in decision-making for awarding research chairs and other honours for excellence.

“The University of Guelph is committed to achieving international excellence through equity diversity and inclusion,” Yates says.