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Conferences & lectures

Simone de Beauvoir Institute Research Associates Seminar

Engendering Inequities: Student Evaluations of Teaching and Precariously Employed Academic Women

Date & time
Monday, March 29, 2021
1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Registration is closed


Sandra Smele, Research Associate, Simone de Beauvoir Institute


This event is free


Sima Aprahamian



Recent studies on neoliberal trends of employment precarity indicate that contract teaching positions are on the rise in Canadian post-secondary institutions and are negatively impacting equity in higher education.

Research also demonstrates that the majority of contract academic teaching staff are women, and roughly a third belong to racialized groups, and that student evaluations of teaching (SETs) commonly reflect biases against women academic instructors, and those marginalized in relation to race, ethnicity, and age.

Given these known links between precarious employment and inequity, and SETs and inequity, understanding how precarious academic employment and SETs intersect and further contribute to inequities in the academy is imperative.

Working from an intersectional feminist framework that seeks to centre marginalized perspectives, this presentation takes up that challenge by looking specifically at how SETs are experienced by the 34 precariously employed academic women who participated in our study.

The participants provided several compelling critiques of SETS that point to their broader consequences for precariously employed academic women’s economic and professional insecurity, their experiences of discrimination, as well as their mental health.

Sandra Smele is a sociologist who has conducted and contributed to a number of research projects over the past 10 years that have focused on health, racism, gender, higher education, care, disability, aging, sexuality, abuse and social inclusion. In addition to being a Research Associate of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, she is also the Coordinator of leading practices in inclusive aging, diversity, health and wellness for the Centre for Research on Expertise in Social Gerontology.

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