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McMaster University Is Giving Female Employees a $3,515 Raise to Correct for the Gender Wage Gap

A great deal of research has surfaced lately showing that the gender wage gap remains a persistent problem. But, few organizations are making an effort to identify the extent of the issue in their own business, and make adjustments.

A great deal of research has surfaced lately showing that the gender wage gap remains a persistent problem. But, few organizations are making an effort to identify the extent of the issue in their own business, and make adjustments.

McMaster University

(Photo Credit: mathewingram/Flickr)

However, Canada’s McMaster University is bucking the trend, taking immediate action in order to right the wrong. This summer, full-time female faculty members at McMaster will be given a raise of $3,515 (about $2,900 US) in order to adjust for the discrepancy.

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The process started several years ago following the publication of a report from the Council of Canadian Academies that identified patchy progress in terms of pay equity for women, even at the highest professional ranks. (American universities found similar inequities – check out the report from the American Association Professors for more information.)

McMaster began evaluating their own gender pay issues following the study, and found a $3,515 pay gap that couldn’t be justified by discipline or rank.

Faculty members have reportedly responded favorably to the subsequent action. David Wilkinson, McMaster’s academic vice president and provost said:

“This amounts to 1 percent of our base budget, and certainly nobody, I think, questions that this is the right thing to do.”

Now the question becomes, will these efforts permanently counter the gender wage gap at McMaster, or will these trends resurface over the course of the next few years or decades? Only time will tell, but the university says they are committed to following up on these issues in the years to come, and they are working on other initiatives to support ending gender-based discrepancies, such as making changes to a parental leave policy and creating different training modules. Their vigilance, and the decision to increase female faculty members’ wages across the board before the new school year, is certainly a solid step in the right direction.

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Do you think agree with McMaster University’s approach to leveling the gender wage gap? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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