Who is represented in positions of power in higher learning institutions has both political and social meaning. The politics of demographics can help uncover critical barriers to participation for minorities and racialized people. Using a methodology similar to that developed by Malinda S. Smith (e.g., 2016, 2017a, 2017c, and 2019), I conducted an intersectional diversity audit of academic administrators at five Canadian universities: Simon Fraser University (SFU), the University of British Columbia (UBC), the University of Victoria (UVic), the University of Toronto (UofT), and York University (York) (Johnson and Howsam, 2020).
The analysis included 1,299 administrators from departmental program chairs to the senior executive. This broad scope enabled my research team to determine if administrators are hitting ceilings and if these ceilings are at different heights for different people. A percentage comparison with Statistics Canada data on professor and lecturer income recipients shows that White men and women appear overrepresented in the senior administrative ranks, suggesting that, while White men have ready access to all administrative ranks and White women appear to be making it through to senior administrative ranks, racialized women and men are held back at the middle ranks. My findings really just confirm what we already know about university leadership, and also about the leadership at other large institutions.
Keep your eyes on this site for more research on the politics of demographics in 2022!
Last updated: September 01, 2021
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