Saskatchewan Women in Education: 1970s

  • Starting in 1971, women with 20 or more insurable weeks could claim up to 15 weeks of maternity benefits through the Unemployment Insurance System, at 66 percent of a mother’s previous salary.
  • In October 1973, the Superannuated Teachers of Saskatchewan organization was formed. Caroline Robins was one of the founding members of this organization, serving as the president of the Saskatoon chapter.
  • In 1973, elementary and high school teachers reached wage parity.
  • In 1974, for the first time in 10 years, women run for positions on the STF Executive. None are elected.

Members of the 1976-77 STF provincial Executive

  • A Women in Education Advisory Committee (later known as the Gender Equity Committee) was established in 1974. The committee’s goals included improvement of representation of women in leadership roles, provided professional development, mutual support and encouragement opportunities, and a base of political action in society.
  • In 1976, the following report was made to Council by the STF Task Force on Women in Education:
    • Total number of men and women in the teaching profession is nearly equal with 53 percent being women.
    • However, only 11.4 percent of administrators are women.
    • 39 percent of women in the profession are over 40 compared to 28 percent of men
    • 19 percent of women have over 20 years of experience compared to 17.7 percent of men.
    • Only 34 percent of women have four or more years of education while over 84 percent of men do.
  • In 1976, Demi Dunlap was elected to the Executive, the first woman to be elected since 1964.
  • Heather-jane Robertson (Tranborg), (c. 1970s)

    In 1976, Heather-jane Robertson became STF Executive Assistant (a position now known as Senior Administrative Staff) responsible for professional development and communications. She contributed to the development of a prototypical internship program at the Saskatchewan’s two universities, piloted a local teacher public relations programs, wrote an award-winning history of the STF, produced three films for teachers on professional topics and lead the creation of leadership development programs for teachers and school-based administrators.
  • In November 1976 the first leadership workshop was held. The leadership workshop became the most visible activity of the STF in its support of the Women in Education Movement. The success of these workshops prompted the Advisory Committee on Women in Education to view continued activities of this type as a high priority and a decision was reached to recommend to the Executive of the STF a series of regional workshops for the 1976-77 year.
  • In 1978, Council adopted a policy against discrimination in education as it applied to women and asked for a more comprehensive statement.


Participants in the women leaders in education workshop hold discussion groups around tables.