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University works toward rectifying gender pay gap

By Manahil Hassan, October 27 2019
With files from Kristy Koehler

Earlier this month, the University of Calgary announced that pay would be increasing for female staff after the results of a gender equity salary review yielded disparity between male and female staff members at the institution.

The task of conducting a joint salary review for the second time was undertaken by the U of C and The U of C Faculty Association (TUCFA) earlier this year. The review demonstrated a pay disparity between male academics and their female counterparts. This disparity existed independently of department, rank and years of experience. An attempt has been made to rectify the situation.

“The increase to the salaries is part of the bundle of EDI (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) activities that are ongoing,” said Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president academic. 

The statement released by the administration stated that female staff would be paid an additional $1,398 to their base salary with an exception to staff members in the Cumming School of Medicine and academic staff residing in Qatar who will have a separate review undertaken in the near future. The pay increase will be retroactive to July 1, 2019. 

Some light has been shed onto the issue of gender equity and efforts will be continued to examine these issues going forward.

“You always have to have checks and balances,” said Marshall. “We have a couple of automatic processes that we do right now.”

Marshall said that ensuring diversity in hiring pools, in addition to a salary anomalies process, are ways to make sure that there aren’t wage gaps again.

“We try to ensure that hiring pools have women and men and different races in them that’s what our unconscious bias or implicit bias training is all about to make sure that the pools that you’re hiring from are reflective of your organization,” she said.

“There will be some times when errors occur. We have things in place to correct them immediately that’s what the salary anomalies process will do. If people think they’ve been unfairly treated because of the way they negotiated when they were hired, if you’re within 10 years of hire there’s a process for any academic staff to apply and we’ll look at it.”

Marshall says there will also be an annual check and balance put in place as part of a larger EDI strategy.

“This is an important area,” she said.

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