Equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives at Canadian universities

Return to list

University of Alberta Academic Women’s Association illustrates the academic pipeline

The University of Alberta’s Academic Women’s Association (AWA) became a formal group in 1975, growing from a “nonassociation” of academic women at the university that had been meeting informally for years to discuss items of interest to academic women. Almost 45 years later, AWA members including women faculty and graduate students at the University of Alberta work to provide a forum for advocacy, networking, recognition and support.

One of the AWA’s current initiatives is the Diversity Gap Campaign. This campaign highlights research led by past AWA president Dr. Malinda Smith on equity, diversity and intersectionality at Canadian universities and colleges. This independent research and analysis aims to assess how equity policies are producing results.

Findings on the diversity gap in university leadership show that women in Canadian universities are less represented as they move up the pipeline from undergraduate study to professorship, while Indigenous women and women of colour continue to be underrepresented across academia. The latest intersectional analysis also highlights an uneven commitment to equity in the Canada Research Chairs program for the four federally-designated groups, with white women attaining greater representation than men and women of colour.

Online information

The Academic Women’s Association

Towards Closing the Diversity Gap in Research Chairs, 2019

Equity at Canadian Universities: National, Disaggregated and Intersectional Data, 2018

The Diversity Gap in University Leadership, 2018

October 15, 2018
Universities Canada