Education, etc.

Janet was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario where most of her family still lives. She misspent her teenage years in Toronto. She received her BA (Honours Sociology) and MA (Sociology) from the University of Waterloo, where she was supervised and mentored by Dr. Margrit Eichler. Janet was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship for doctoral studies which she held at King’s College, Cambridge University. She was enrolled in Social and Political Sciences, and supervised by Dr. Alexander Stewart. While at Cambridge she was a member of the teaching collective for “Paper 45” Women in Society – a collaboration that produced the collection “Women in Society” with Virago Press. She obtained her PhD in 1985. 

Employment and professional activities in the UK

After a term research contract at the Advisory Council on the Status of Women in Ottawa, Janet moved to Scotland to take up a position in the Sociology department at the University of Edinburgh and worked there for 10 years. She participated actively in the British Sociology Association serving on the executive of BSA Scotland, the editorial board of Sociology, as review editor of Work, Employment and Society, and as director of a BSA residential summer school in research methods for postgraduates.

In the UK, Janet’s research focused on gender inequality in employment. She received research funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, and the International Labour Organization. Publications from this research include two books and several journal articles.

Employment and professional activities in Canada

In 1994, Janet returned to Canada to take up a position in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University, where she was made full professor in 1998. She is cross-appointed to the Institute of Political Economy. Between 1998 and 2006 Janet was director of the Centre for Labour and Community Research. In 2006-2009, she was the department’s graduate chair coordinating the sociology graduate programs. She was director of the Institute of Political Economy for three years until January 2013. Janet has participated in the Canadian Sociology Association as jury member for the John Porter Book Prize, as the Carleton University Departmental Representative, and was elected to the Research Advisory Committee in 2013 for a three year term. She served on the CSA executive in 2015–2016.

Janet retired in 2018 and is currently Professor Emerita.



  • Department of Sociology and Anthropology,
  • Loeb building,
  • Carleton University,
  • Ottawa, K1R 5B6

Dr. Janet Siltanen