John Kervin

John Kervin

Professor Emeritus Sociology

Professor John Kervin began his research career at UTM doing experimental sociology related to interpersonal status.  He later turned to labour-management conflict and negotiations.  At present, his work is in the areas of “Work” and “Gender”, focusing on women in the workforce.


Kervin’s recent research investigates the determinants of wages, particularly the wages paid for women’s work relative to its value to the employer organization.  This work examines how cultural beliefs and values influence assessments of the worth of women’s work.  It includes a comparison of cultural and social structural factors related to male backlash, particularly male resistance to women’s advancement in occupations and careers.  As well, he has examined the unexpected workplace conflict generated by “family-friendly” policies designed to help employees with child-care responsibilities,   

Professor Kervin also does related consulting, writing reports and providing evidence in pay equity cases.

More recently he has broadened his work to include occupational culture, comparing job evaluation results and wages for male and female jobs in both male-dominated and female-dominated occupations.  Currently, he is writing a book which incorporates a number of statistical techniques that he has developed to assess the worth of work, including different tests for gender bias in job evaluation systems, and methods for overcoming the problems of multicollinearity among job factors.

Selected Publications

Determining Gender Wage Gaps.  A Report for the Department of Justice, January, 2013. (63 pp.)

Determining Gender Wage Gaps:  Comments on the Report of Paul Durber.  A Report for Department of Justice, Canada.  April, 2014.  60 pp.

Rating Work.  A Report for Department of Justice, Canada.  June, 2014.  23 pp.

Fair Compensation for Midwives.  A Report for Ministry of the Attorney General, Ontario. November, 2014.  66 pp.

Gender-Based Wage Discrimination and Jobs in Statistical Survey Operations.  A Report for Department of Justice, Canada.  March, 2015.  85 pp.

“One Size Fits All or Made-to-Measure:  Does ‘Fitting’ an Organization Pay System Increase Inequality?”  with Mark Easton.  Canadian Sociology Association, Calgary, June 2016. 

“Sex and the Single Worker: Who's Cynical about Work-Life Balance?”  Canadian Sociology Association, Calgary, June 2016. 

“The Roots of Bias and Backlash. ”  Canadian Sociology Association, Toronto, May 2017


Work and Labour Markets, Gender
Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins University)
B.A. (University of British Columbia)