We recently posted a piece about female engineering postgraduate students at Brunel University receiving an additional grant of £15,000 p.a. – considerably more than the annual gross income of a person working full-time on the minimum wage – solely on the basis of being women:
Our FoI request resulted in confirmation that male-to-female transsexuals would be eligible for the grant, even while ‘in transition’:
It was clear to us that the grants were in conflict with Brunel University’s Equality and Diversity Statement, so we sent another FoI request, asking how they intended to resolve the matter. The response has just been received:
Predictably, the ‘positive action’ provisions of The Equality Act (2010) have been used ‘to help ensure that female students participate more fully in engineering courses’. As we all know, not only does the UK need more engineers, it specifically needs more female engineers because (as with all professions, most notably medicine) they’re more likely than their male counterparts to quit the profession altogether, refuse to work in challenging environments, work part-time, retire earlier… yes, that’s a prudent use of taxpayers’ money, given men pay 72% of the income tax collected in the UK, and women only 28%.
We’re not aware of even one area where the ‘positive action’ provisions in The Equality Act have been used to advance men who are ‘under-represented’ in the education system, the workplace, or elsewhere. If you know of any such areas, would you please email me firstname.lastname@example.org with details? Thank you.