Gender Equity Considerations for Tenure and Promotion during COVID‐19

Merin Oleschuk
Canadian Review of Sociology
57(3), 502-515
Aug 11 2020

Rising care demands created by COVID‐19—specifically those brought on by remote working, a lack of childcare, and the virus’ particular risk to aging populations—are disproportionately incurred by women and impede their ability to work. The starkness of gender differences in productivity and its visibility during this time provokes a rethinking of how faculty will be evaluated for tenure and promotion during the pandemic and beyond it. With or without a vaccine, the effects of this pandemic will reverberate for years to come, both in the physical disruptions brought on by intermittent lockdowns and school and daycare closures, as well as the psychological toll that regular isolation puts on individuals, children, and families. This report underscores that the impact of those burdens are not incurred equally. The COVID‐19 pandemic serves as an opportunity and a provocation to rethink our established ways of evaluating academic success to acknowledge and ameliorate systemic differences in its enactment. Doing so can help pave a more equitable path forward. The remainder of this document reviews emerging research on the gendered corona publication gap and presents suggestions for Tenure and Promotion Committees at Canadian Universities to consider to mitigate this gap when evaluating faculty research during the COVID‐19 period.