Female faculty at McMaster University will be getting a raise after a two-year study showed differences in salary between the sexes at the Hamilton school.
The analysis found that women faculty members earned on average $3,515 less than their male counterparts in 2012 and 2013 – even after adjustments were made based on seniority, tenure, faculty and age.
"We should have been addressing this, but the issue has come to the fore, we've addressed it, done the analysis and are making the adjustment," said David Wilkinson, the university's provost and academic vice president.
The pay adjustment will be made on July 1.
Wilkinson said the study ran in parallel to an analysis by faculty member Charlotte Yates who released a report last year that focused on non-salary issues related to women's advancement and inclusion at the school.
"That will stand us in good stead in terms of recruiting better female faculty for the university and finding better ways to support them when they're here," Wilkinson said.
He said the university has begun implementing some of Yates's recommendations, which include merit pay evaluation for those on pregnancy or parental leave. While the university had a policy for evaluating faculty when they take a year off for research purposes, there was no such policy in place for those who took parental leave.
The report also recommended updating the harassment policy, ensuring equitable hiring practices, and leadership opportunities for women.
And, Wilkinson said, they are making a deliberate attempt to hire the same number of women as men, which is "close to 50 per cent now."
"This is a gradual change of culture and it's part of an ongoing process," Wilkinson said.
Yates said the harassment policy is being rewritten and the other recommendations are also being implemented.
She said she is proud of her employer for making the recent changes.
"It's a great thing and that the university is committed to equity and willing to put money on the table," Yates said.
Women across campus reached out to Yates on Tuesday, she said, and reaction was completely positive.
"It's been a little overwhelming – women feel positive about their current positions and hopeful for the future and potential leadership roles here," she said.
"I feel it's absolutely a wonderful thing we're moving forward and it signals to women faculty how serious the university is in creating an environment that recognizes them and their value to the school."