The University of Victoria supports the principle of equity in all areas of University life. In order to achieve equity, for female faculty, the University will take measures to:
1. Substantially increase the proportion of female faculty members at all ranks.
Women represent 17% of the regular faculty at UVic and at most other Canadian universities. Some departments in the Humanities and Fine Arts and a few professional schools employ most of the women; the remainder are scattered unevenly throughout other disciplines. Some departments have no women faculty members.
Many other universities are attempting to recruit women to remedy long-standing imbalances and comply with the federal government employee equity initiatives. Without new efforts, UVic may have difficulty recruiting and retaining female faculty members. Unless there is a substantial increase in the numbers of female faculty members at UVic, there is little likelihood that they will have a significant impact on the academic development and governance of the University.
2. Substantially increase the proportion of female faculty members in the governance of the University by:
2.1 increasing the number of women on campus (see 1),
2.2 encouraging women to stand for election to committees, Senate and the Board of Governors,
2.3 encouraging women to stand for office,
2.4 ensuring that selection committees actively seek competent women candidates.
3. Continue to ensure that salaries and benefits remain equitable between male and female faculty members.
A study completed at UVic indicated that male and female faculty members were paid similar amounts within ranks although women were congregated in the lower ranks and thus had lower salaries overall. Previous inequities in pension policies have been remedied and the introduction of a parental leave policy has greatly benefited some faculty members. It is important to continue to monitor this area to ensure that equity is maintained, particularly as the University develops new faculties and programs.
4. Recognize the validity of career patterns that differ from the norm.
Women may enter academic careers at an older age than men and may have career interruptions related to such things as family responsibilities. In the case of interruptions, women may require a period of time to re-enter the profession.
Such differences should be recognized in hiring and other personnel decisions.
5. Ensure that University policies encourage gender equity.
Some departments and faculties within the University such as Law, Fine Arts and Human and Social Development have adopted language and curriculum policies which promote equality between men and women. Some disciplines have adopted research policies which reflect gender equity. A university-wide effort in this regard is required.
6. Ensure that the University provides a safe and supportive environment for women.
Measures to promote a safe environment for women have been taken at UVic and must be routinely improved in view of periodic but persistent attacks on women. University campuses are frequently the location for such assaults because of the high concentration of women, the spacious arrangement of buildings and parking lots, and the irregular hours of study. The sexual harassment policy, which includes educative as well as remedial measures, has sent a strong message about the need for a safe and just environment for women and requires continued support. Other policies may be required and services such as day care must be expanded.
7. Recognize that feminist scholarship within disciplines is an important focus for scholarly work.
This new scholarship is creating important fields of study within many mainstream disciplines. It is contributing to the development of new disciplines (e.g. women’s studies, environmental studies, native studies, preventive and alternative health care) and is forging interdisciplinary links. This should also be recognized in grant and travel applications.
Such recognition may require departments to seek external evaluation in assessing vitae.
8. Recognize that women may have to include a heavy service component in their work.
Those women available on campus are often called upon to serve on more than the expected number of committees and carry a heavier than normal graduate student supervisory load. This should be recognized.
9. Increase the opportunities for women to complete graduate studies.
Although the numbers of women in graduate schools are increasing, there are still many areas where women are seriously under-represented. It is difficult for many women to complete graduate studies without three special measures: extra financial help in view of women’s wages; workplace day care and flexible program fulfilment requirements because of family responsibilities; and direct encouragement from role models, given the male domination of many fields. Unless more women complete graduate school, many departments will be unable to hire more women, in spite of employment equity policies and their good intentions