Cover: Glass Ceilings and Ivory Towers: Gender Inequality in the Canadian Academy, edited by Rachael Johnstone and Bessma Momani. Photo: a glass atrium ceiling, the photo taken from below. Through the glass, the sky is cloudy and deepening blue, as if it is close to night.
332 pages, 6 x 9
20 charts, 17 tables
Release Date:01 May 2024

Glass Ceilings and Ivory Towers

Gender Inequality in the Canadian Academy

UBC Press

Even as Canadian universities suggest their gender issues have largely been resolved, many women in academia tell a different story. Systemic discrimination, the underrepresentation of women in more senior and lucrative roles, and the belief that gender-related concerns will simply self-correct with greater representation at the lower rungs of the academic ladder all add up to a serious gender problem.

Although these issues are widely acknowledged, reliable data is elusive. Glass Ceilings and Ivory Towers fills this significant research gap with a cross-disciplinary, data-driven investigation of gender inequality in Canadian academia. Research presented in this book reveals, for example, that women are more likely to hold precarious sessional teaching positions and to face disadvantages as they pursue the funding, publications, and teaching scores necessary to land coveted tenure track positions. Once in the academy, they are poorly represented at the upper echelons of the professoriate and must contend with a gender pay gap that widens as they move up the ranks.

Contributors consider the daily grind of academic life, structural and systemic challenges, and the gendered dynamics of university leadership, all with an eye to laying the groundwork for practical and meaningful institutional change.

Scholars and students of gender and women’s studies, sociology, policy studies, and higher education will find this book essential reading, as will university educators and administrators, as well as all women in academia.

This is an essential, critical, powerful book that fills a gap in the field. Cheryl van Daalen-Smith, RN, PhD, associate dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies; associate professor, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and School of Nursing, York University
Glass Ceilings and Ivory Towers addresses the enduring and systemic challenges and unfortunate realities of navigating the complexities of gender inequality in higher education. It is a necessary read for everyone in a position to make a decision about who advances and who leads in our organizations – colleagues, leaders, community partners, and government. Donna Kotsopoulos, president, Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada

Rachael Johnstone is an assistant professor of political science at Dalhousie University. She is the author of After Morgentaler: The Politics of Abortion in Canada and has published in Canadian Public Administration, the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, and the Journal of Canadian Studies.

Bessma Momani is a professor of political science and associate vice-president, international, at the University of Waterloo. She is also a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and a non-resident fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, DC. She is a governor on the board of the International Development Research Centre. Dr. Momani has authored and co-edited numerous books and scores of scholarly journal articles and book chapters, as well as editorials for the New York Times, the Economist, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Newsweek, and Time.

Introduction: Gender Inequality in the Canadian Academy / Rachael Johnstone and Bessma Momani

Part 1: Daily Life of Women Academics

Between Tokenism and Belonging in the Academy / Andrea M. Collins

1 The Precarious Work of Contract Teaching and Student Evaluations / Sandra Smele and Andrea Quinlan

2 Research Ethics Boards, Women Researchers, and Fieldwork / Tanya Bandula-Irwin

3 Women and Service: Valuing Service in Tenure and Promotion / Jude Walker, Elena Ignatovich, and Maryam Nabavi

Part 2: Gendered Dynamics of University Leadership

Witnessing Academic Recruitment Weighed Down by the F-word / Amorell Saunders N’Daw

4 Women’s Research Leadership in the Academy / Anne Wagner and Sandra Acker

5 Wage Equality and Opportunity for Women Deans / Rachael Johnstone and Bessma Momani

6 EDI and the University Leadership Ladder / Genevieve Fuji Johnson, Özlem Sensoy, and El Chenier

Part 3: Structural and Systemic Challenges Faced by Women Academics

The Great Gaslighting: BIPOC Women in White Academia / Aisha Ahmad

7 Academic Gender Wage Gaps in Canada / Catherine Beaudry, Laurence Solar-Pelletier, and Carl St-Pierre

8 Representation of Women in STEM in Senior Administration / Melanie A. Morrison, Joshua W. Katz, Bidushy Sadika, Jessica M. McCutcheon, and Todd G. Morrison

9 Women Faculty and Contrapower Harassment in the Canadian Academy / Jennifer Chisholm, Kasey Egan, and Kristin Burnett

10 Challenging Systemic Discrimination in the Canada Research Chairs Program / Louise Forsyth

Part 4: Approaches to Practical and Institutional Change

Institutional Culture and Implications for EDI Practice / Michael F. Charles

11 Reclaiming Kindness and Compassionate Pedagogy / Janice Niemann

12 Social Media for Women in Academia / Audrey E. Brennan and Katherine V.R. Sullivan

13 The Public Face of Gender Inequality and Allyship / Cheryl N. Collier

Reconciliation in the Research Ecosystem: It’s about Relationships / Sara Anderson

Conclusion: Silence Is Not Golden / Lorna A. Turnbull

Balancing It All as a Contract Professor / Melissa Finn


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