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Canadian women in academe/balancing work and life

October 27, 2008

Wendy Robbins sent the following message to the PAR-L:

The latest in the new Equity Review series from CAUT (Canadian Association of University Teachers) is entitled “The Tenure Gap” and can be downloaded from

La version française est disponible à: Équité en matière d’emploi. Accès inégal à la permanence — Femmes nommées à des postes universitaires, 1985-2005 (septembre 2008)

There is some good news: women’s share of all tenured positions rose from 12.9% in 1985 to 28.0% in 2005. This means that in 2005 fewer than 3 out of 10 tenured positions were held by women. So we still have a long way to go to close the “tenure gap.”

The report cautions: “Academic tenure is an essential protection of academic freedom. It is vital to creating the conditions that allow excellent teaching and scholarly research to flourish. The existence of gender disparities in the awarding of tenure therefore raises serious concerns about the status of female faculty in Canadian universities.”

The Equity Review series, produced by CAUT staff, was initiated by the Women’s Committee of CAUT, supported by the Equity Committee, at the time that I headed the former and Janice Best headed the latter. The new study was released in September 2008. Other titles in the series are listed on the CAUT website:

Perhaps it would be pertinent here to mention the Chronicle electronic forum on work/life balance.


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