Young women fail to close income gap as men profit from oil boom

Twenty-something women landing their first full-time jobs have made no ground in closing the income gap with men, as the booming oil and construction industries line the pockets of young, uneducated men, wrote The Canadian Press May 1, citing figurers from the latest census.

Women 25 to 29 years old made 85 cents for every dollar earned by their brothers in the workplace in 2005 – a 15-cent gender gap that has not budged a penny in five years, according to the figures released Thursday by Statistics Canada.

The advantage of a male-dominated construction and oil industry aside, Ronald Burke, professor emeritus at the Schulich School of Business at York University, said he sees the income gap narrowing among professionals. “More women have entered the workforce in managerial and professional jobs that obviously are higher paying than jobs women have had historically,” Burke said.

“There has also been, in terms of organizations, more awareness and concern about pay equity to make sure that if people are in the same job, whether you’re a man or woman, that you’re getting the same pay.”

It is women themselves who are driving that change, he said. “I teach in the MBA program at Schulich and it turns out that women that graduate here now are every bit as eager to get what they’re worth as men historically have been, and are more prepared to negotiate a higher salary.”

Reviewers praise York profs’ book on the science of psychology

The Science Game: An Introduction to Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences is a good portal for psychological science, wrote PsycCRITIQUES, an online publication of the American Psychological Association, in a review published April 30. The two psychology scholars in York’s Faculty of Health, Neil Agnew, professor emeritus, and Sandra Pyke, University Professor emerita, have tried to put it all together in a book that articulates a perspective of science and the design of research that is so simple and clear that anyone should be able to do straightforward psychological research after reading it, the reviewers said.

This book, an important rewrite of a classic in the psychological science/research design biz, is highly readable and teachable. Throughout the book a theme of common sense in relation to science is articulated. Agnew and Pyke demystify research, breaking it down into understandable parts, presenting straightforward designs, and outlining the backdrop one must consider today, such as the ethics issues…. And they correctly show that there are many ways of knowing and that we can’t accept only a narrow few. Psychological research is but part of a broader picture of knowing, understanding and evaluating human behaviour.

Former Atkinson dean is now a university president

Skip Bassford, president of the University College of the Fraser Valley (UCFV), is riding a wave of successes, wrote BC’s Chilliwack Progress April 30. He is particularly enthusiastic about BC Premier Gordon Campbell’s announcement last week that the institution would be granted university status, making it the University of the Fraser Valley. Many community leaders have praised Bassford’s efforts at guiding the institution through a decade of significant growth and evolution. He said he is planning to retire next year. Bassford was the dean of Atkinson College at York University before he joined UCFV in July 1998.

Theatre alumna likes her busy life in the West

Elinor Holt’s (MFA ’92) work as an actor, singer and comedienne has been seen on virtually every stage in Calgary, wrote the Calgary Herald May 2 in an article about the theatre graduate of York’s Faculty of Fine Arts and her busy schedule as a mother and performer. This week is no different – and no less hectic – than any other, wrote the Herald. Her husband, musician Spider Bishop, is about to hit the road, while Elinor is poised to debut as the title character in Urban Curvz’ Helen’s Necklace, which opens at Calgary’s Pumphouse Theatre on May 8.

The youngest of seven, she was twice offered the family farm over the years. She turned it down both times. "I wanted to be an actor," she said. Then she got her first lucky break, being accepted into the BFA program at the University of Alberta and the MFA program at York University at the same time." She chose Toronto. Why? Practical as ever, Elinor weighed the choices. She already had an undergraduate degree, and the master’s degree at York was a two-year program.

Even though it was sometimes hard to get folks out to see the shows up at York’s Keele campus, she loved that you didn’t need a car because public transit took you everywhere. And yet, somehow, she knew that when she graduated she was heading back home.