Press Release - PIPSC Seeks to Address Barriers Hindering Women in Federal Public Science

Ottawa, March 7, 2018 – In advance of International Women’s Day, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) has released a new report that examines the under-representation of women in public sector science and focuses on challenges faced by women pursuing science careers in the federal public service.

The report, titled  Women in Public Sector Science: From Analysis to Action, reveals concerns about gender bias, equality,  dependent care responsibilities, mentorship and leadership, and a diminishing concern for women’s rights.  The report is  based on findings from a 2017 survey of federal scientists and engineers who are PIPSC members.

“While more women than ever are pursuing careers in science, much work is left to be done to mitigate gender bias and break down the barriers women face in advancing their careers,” said PIPSC President Debi Daviau.

The survey found that:

  • More women than men believe dependent care responsibilities are a barrier to their career progression;
  • 42% of women believe that gender biases are a barrier to their career progression;
  • 27% of women believe that men are favoured in opportunities for leadership roles;
  • One in four women respondents said that lack of access to mentors was a major barrier to their career progression.

The Professional Institute is looking to influence change for women in science by:

  • Conducting advocacy and activism campaigns aimed at new or better workplace legislation;
  • Collective bargaining for new and better workplace rights;
  • Developing and conducting awareness and education campaigns for PIPSC members; and
  • Supporting consultation team presidents at union-management consultation for new and improved human resources policies.

Invitations to participate in the online survey, hosted by Environics Research, were sent to 16,377 federal scientists, engineers and researchers engaged in scientific work in over 40 federal departments and agencies. Of these, 3,025 (18%) responded between May 29 and June 27, 2017.  Read the full report.

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For further information:

Johanne Fillion

613-228-6310, ext 4953 or 613-883-4900 (cell)