In this March 1972 article of the Varsity Newspaper, three U of T History Professors came forward with statistics revealing major salary discrimination against women at the University.
This memorandum outlines the review of female faculty salaries from 1989-1990. This review was conducted to ensure women faculty were paid the same as their male colleagues.
Pay Equity Means Everything
Pay equity means equal pay for work of equal value. This means that two people who do the same job should receive the same pay. It is something that many have struggled with for years, and still do.
If you are a woman, you may be paid less than a man sometime in your life. In the 1970s, women mobilized to fight this.
Finding a job as a professor was practically unheard of for women. By 1972, only fifteen percent of the University of Toronto’s academic staff were women. Many were so thankful to get a job at such a prestigious university, they did not question their salaries.
Talking about your salary was seen as taboo. Through studies and surveys, women faculty became aware that they were earning less than men.
Four retired professors took legal action against the University of Toronto in 2001 over differences in pension. Publicity of the case shone a light on the pay equity struggle women endured.
Click the play button to view a video overviewing the importance of pay equity and the experiences of some women. The women featured in this video are Vanda Vitali, Helen Breslauer, Lorna Marsden, and Kay Armatage.
To learn more about the pay equity lawsuit between retired women professors and the University of Toronto click "Franklin v. University of Toronto" in the bottom right of the page.