Canadian university lecturers get older, more women: StatCan

Canadian university professors are mostly aging and there are more women than there were 50 years ago, a new report from Statistics Canada shows.

Data released by the federal agency on Monday showed that the average age of full-time scholars rose to 51 years in the 2021-22 academic year from 38 years in 1971-72, most of the time. during the first half of that period.

The number of women in academia has more than tripled during that time to 42.1% from 12.7%.

Statistics Canada says with more male professors nearing retirement age, the percentage of women could rise even further. However, an aging faculty member can slow the advancement of younger scholars, the report said.

The information is based on data from 111 public degree institutions, with 47,799 full-time teaching staff in 2021-22.

“As university faculty age, it will be interesting to look at the impact of retirement on the composition of the teaching staff,” the report said.

“With nearly 5,500 full-time university professors aged 65 or older and another 6,100 professors aged 60 to 64, almost a quarter (24.2%) are likely to leave their jobs within the years. next.”

The StatCan report also shows that the percentage of faculty members aged 40 and under plummeted over those 50 years to 14.8% from 57.2% in 1971-72.

Over time, the job requirements for these positions have changed, and most positions now require a doctorate, the report said. “Factoring the time required to obtain this degree is likely to increase the age of the population that is eligible for these positions.”


The average age of assistant professors has remained at 40 over the past decade, up seven years from 1971-1972.

For associate professors, the median age has also stood at 49 over the past decade, up nine years from 50 years ago.

Meanwhile, the average age of full-time professors has remained at 58 for the past five years, up 10 years from five decades ago.

The maximum age of staff below associate professor level increased from 31 to 48 years old.


According to the StatCan report, female faculty has achieved the greatest achievement as a full-time teacher in the past 20 years.

The report says women have become more “economically active” as women make up 47.8% of the Canadian workforce aged 25 to 54 in 2021 compared with 35.4% in 1976.

StatCan found that women achieved gender parity below the rank of assistant professor in the early 1990s and are now slightly less than men.

Moving up the ranks, women achieved gender parity at associate professor level in the 2017-18 academic year. In 2021-22, women make up 51% of assistant professors in Canada.

The proportion of women as associate professors reached 44.3% in the period 2021-22, five times higher than 50 years ago.

Although nearly 10 times larger than in 1971-72, the largest gender gap still exists between full-time professors, of which 31.4% are women.

Women are also taking on more dean roles at Canadian universities, growing to 45.3% in 2021-22 from 3.9% in 1971-72.

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