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The glass ceiling still exists at Victoria, with female academics outnumbered and out-earned by males at the highest levels.
Figures from 2013 obtained under the Official Information Act show that women made up just 33 of the 133 professors at Victoria.
As well as this, there were only 135 women in senior lecturer positions, compared to 164 men at the same level.
Women make up 44 per cent of the University’s total academic staff.
The overrepresentation of women in lower-level academic jobs such as assistant lecturers, tutors, and research assistants is contributing to a gender pay gap, with female academics on average earning 86 per cent of what male academics earned in 2014.
In 2014, the average annual salary per full time equivalent (FTE) male academic at the University was $100,620. For FTE female academics, it was $86,686.
A similar pay gap also exists among non-academic staff. The average annual pay for female non-academic employees was $65,079 in 2014; 85 per cent of the male average of $76,696.
The lack of women in leadership positions at the University is also visible at the highest levels of governance, with Victoria University’s Senior Leadership Team made up of three women and nine men.
A report on Equity and Diversity Learning and Teaching Student Experience of Victoria, published by the University last year, acknowledged that while “overall, more men hold higher paid positions at the University than women”, the differences “in the levels of remuneration being paid continue to close.”
Figures from the report show women are more likely than men to apply for higher-ranking positions such as professorships. However, men are accepted to top academic positions at a higher rate than women. Over the last five years, the success rate of women applying for professorships was 50 per cent, compared to 60 per cent for men.
The success rate of women seeking promotion to senior lecturer was 60 per cent, compared to 68.7 per cent for men.
In the report, the University acknowledged that there has been “only incremental progress in achieving equitable participation for women in senior academic roles though more women are applying for promotion”.
The University tried to address this issue by implementing a tailored workshop for women to assist with their preparation for the Academic Promotion Round in 2013. The aim of this programme was to enable women to apply for these high academic positions.
Associate Professor and Vice-Provost (Academic Equity) Allison Kirkman said the University also participates in the New Zealand Women in Leadership programme and that “several members of the Senior Leadership Team” had completed this programme. Salient would like to reiterate that the Senior Leadership currently has three female members.
Gender is not the only issue of representation at Victoria. In 2013, there were 54 Māori academic staff and 91 general staff, accounting for 6.5 per cent of staff overall. Only 71 staff (3.2 per cent) were Pasifika. However, these figures represented increases of 0.3 and 0.4 per cent respectively over 2012.