Barbara Arneil on the Public Sector’s Glass Ceiling

 

Glass ceiling still in place for public sector employees

By Tara Carman

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have introduced a gender-balanced cabinet “because it’s 2015,” but that equality does not extend to public servants in B.C., where the vast majority of the highest-paid employees are men.

An analysis of The Sun’s exclusive public sector salary database reveals that of the 200 highest-paid public employees in B.C., during 2014 or the 2014-15 fiscal year, 70 per cent were men and 30 per cent were women. That increases to 77 per cent male when the field is narrowed to the top 100. (By contrast, 94 of the 100 highest-paid corporate executives in 2015 were men, according to Business in Vancouver.)

“There’s an old saying: the higher, the fewer, with respect to women,” said Barbara Arneil, head of the University of B.C.’s political science department. “We have what I think are structural, systemic reasons why women are not reaching the top of their profession, whether that is in the university, whether that’s in government, whether that’s in the private sector. And we’re wasting very good resources.”

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Barbara Arneil
Professor and Deparment Head

Barbara Arneil (Ph.D, London) is interested in the areas of identity politics and the history of political thought. She specializes in the intersection between liberalism and colonialism, social trust and diversity, global citizenship and cosmopolitanism, gender and political theory, the role of disability in political theory, and domestic colonies.

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