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Gender-Based Salary Differentials Report and recommendations released

July 17, 2019 — 

The UM-UMFA Joint Committee to Study Gender-Based Salary Differentials has released the final independently-authored technical report, along with an overview of their findings and seven recommendations. 

The Joint Committee, which included Janice Dodd, Susan Prentice, Annemieke Farenhorst, Tracey Peter, Dave Muir and Tina Chen, was formed after the conclusion of UM-UMFA negotiations in 2016. It looked at the salaries of UMFA members to determine if gender-based salary differentials exist at the U of M and if they do, to what extent.

While identifying salary differentials, the report dated Jan. 30, 2019 concluded that “there is no evidence of a systemic gender wage gap at the University of Manitoba.” The author of the report, Dr. Tammy Schirle, professor of economics at Wilfred Laurier University, explains that the differentials can be accounted for by determinants including rank, seniority and discipline. 

Other main findings of the Schirle report identified that there is evidence of gender differences in career progression to Professor between men and women particularly, in the health profession fields and in Science and Engineering. However, Schirle states that it is difficult to say much more on the issue without further information, and that a study of individual cases may be warranted.  Regarding instructor salaries, she noted a gendered wage gap but the calculations are based on a very small number of individuals, therefore, lacking statistical significance.*

The Joint Committee reports that there are employment equity issues raised in the report which merit further study, particularly the on-average 18 month promotion lag of women to Professor and, for certain fields, the lower likelihood of being promoted to Professor.*

“I would like to acknowledge the good work of the Joint Committee and Dr. Schirle. This report will guide our continued efforts to enhance equity and inclusion and support our commitment to create an outstanding learning and working environment,” says Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Janice Ristock.

Read Dr. Schirle’s full report and the committee’s recommendations.

*This story has been updated from the original published version, based on feedback from the Joint Committee.

The in-depth technical report was created by Dr. Tammy Schirle, an external consultant sought and hired by the Joint Committee. A professor of economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, Schirle is also an alumna of the U of M economics program [BA Hon.’99] and serves as associate editor for Canadian Public Policy, as director of the Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis and as board member for the Canadian Labour Economics Forum and is a C.D. Howe Institute Research Fellow. The University of Manitoba supplied the data, under the scope of Research Ethics Board approval, for the confidential work.

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