Women miss out

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
485,
Page:
139
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/nj7396-139a
Published online

Informal benefits are more frequently awarded to men, according to study of one university.

Female academics across all fields are less likely than their male colleagues to receive bonuses, according to a study of employees at a large, unnamed Canadian university (C. Doucet et al. Ind. Relat. 67, 5175; 2012). The discrepancy may be because female faculty members have fewer networking connections and less knowledge about bonuses than men, suggests Christine Doucet, a sociologist at the University of Montreal, Canada, and co-author of the article, which used data on some 1,900 faculty members. Those who lack institutional networks should seek out information about informal benefits, she advises. If universities followed more formal compensation practices, rather than relying on informal discretion, equity would improve, she notes.

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