In 1974 the Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities conducted a study of the status of women in postsecondary educational institutions. Affirmative action guidelines were produced in 1976 and revised in 1979. The guidelines have three objectives: to raise and diversify the occupational distribution of women employed in the colleges of Applied Arts and Technology; to diversify female student enrollment; and to ensure that programs reflect female experience and meet the changing roles of women.
1. To raise and diversify the occupational distribution of women.
While there has been some improvement in the numbers of women who are employed full-time at the colleges, there is still a discrepancy in salaries between men and women in some areas and women are primarily clustered in traditional women's programs.
The most notable increase in percentage of women is in the administrative category, where women now hold 41 % of administrative positions. In academic posts women are approximately 35%, but the largest representation is still in support staff positions, 65%. There are now two female presidents and five vice-presidents in the system.
2. To diversify female student enrollment.
This is the area in which institutions have registered their greatest energies. Programs have been developed, redeveloped, and nurture. Introduction to Non-Traditional Occupations (INTO), Women in Trades and Technology (WITT), FOCUS-on-Change, etc. are generally successful for the women who are reached, but the problem is primarily the number of women who are missed due to the paucity of resources - human, technical and financial - allocated for these programs. An even greater failure has been the inability to integrate these programs into the regular college curricula.
With the introduction of the Canadian Jobs Strategy much ground was lost; CJS integrated all special needs under one umbrella and imposed very stringent eligibility criteria. INTO programs disappeared out of most colleges and there are few WITT and FOCUS programs left. But other areas have opened up. There is new concern to encourage and assist women in apprenticeship and engineering technology programs, and to develop special introductory programs for immigrant women who are becoming a greater part of our communities.
3. To ensure that programs reflect the female experience and meet the changing roles of women.
A number of colleges have had women's studies programs in place for the past ten years and efforts have been made to voice the necessity of making entrance requirements less rigid. Classroom material that better reflects the female experience and which will enhance the chances of success for women students is also appearing.
Since the revision of the Affirmative Action guidelines were made in 1979, Women's Advisors became Coordinators of Affirmative Action and, last year, Education and Employment Equity Coordinators. While the titles have changed the goals remain the same. But a new emphasis that has come with the new title is the need to identify statistical measures as an integral part of the Employment Equity job. The Incentive Funding provided by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and the Ontario Women's Directorate provides the basis for data collection and analysis and the development of goals and timetables for implementation of employment equity in the system. The requirement of the funding bodies is that policy, goals and timetables be approved by the Board of Governors at each institution as a demonstration of support.
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
By 1986 we could account for a 2% increase in the number of full-time women employees, but the clustering of women in the support services categories and economic erosion since 1976 indicate a slight decline in salaries, with a slight increase at the support staff level. Of even greater concern is the number of women in part- time positions at lower rates, with little or no benefits. Women comprise 35% of academic posts but are generally employed in traditional areas.