Trudeau Science Minister Pushing For Broader Gender Equity Investigation

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made “gender equity” a focal point of the G7 summit, and his science minister is doing the same in her portfolio.

Kirsty Duncan has already investigated universities to see if their faculty is properly balanced between men and women. Now, Duncan has announced that she’s going after all government departments that employ scientists to ensure women comprise what she believes is the right percentage of workers.

As CBC News reported Sunday, Duncan is asking all federal government departments employing scientists to provide demographics on the percentage of men and women employed. The minister is basing her concerns on a survey conducted by the public service union that discovered 42 percent of females employed in a scientific category cited gender discrimination as an impediment to career advancement, while 27 percent believe men are favored for job promotions.

The National Research Council statistics found “a diminishing proportion of women to men” at the upper management level.

Now Duncan is going after all other relevant federal departments to see if the same trend exists elsewhere.

Susan O’Donnell, who spearheaded the public service union survey and report, gave the minister high marks for demanding answers about gender representation throughout the federal government.

“It’s clearly an issue that’s not going to get better until the government devotes the attention and resources to it,” she told CBC.

Duncan said the information can be used to prepare for the future as older male employees reach retirement age.

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