The report compares the representation of each intersectional group between full-time faculty and students, and between staff and the population in the GTA (according to the 2011 National Household Survey) or Ontario. The report also breaks down the representation at different levels of leadership and in different employee groups.
Racialized women employees make up only 9% of full-time faculty compared with 33% of students, which equals a 24% gap. Another gap exists in the representation among women leaders. Racialized women represent 25% of women leaders at Ryerson, while racialized women represent almost half of the population of women in the GTA.
Other gaps exist between the women employees who identify as persons with disabilities: they constitute 3% of Ryerson staff – one third of representation of persons with disabilities in the province’s population at 9%. Women who identify as 2SLGBTQ+ make up 3% of Ryerson staff – by comparison, they make up 5% of part-time and casual employees.
According to Jesmen Mendoza, a psychologist in the Centre for Student Development and Counselling, these gaps reinforce systemic barriers and stereotypes. If women students with intersecting identities don’t see themselves reflected in the faculty, “it doesn’t provide hope that they can achieve these positions of knowledge and social importance,” he says.
More broadly, Mendoza says a diverse university workforce that adequately represents different intersecting equity groups can create a more inclusive and nurturing environment for students.
“Universities are more than just education factories, they are communities. Having an academic workforce that reflects the student body creates a sense of belonging, and that creates better learning, because students are more likely to participate in the university,” he says.