Engineering has a huge impact on society. To responsibly advance science and technology, [J4MB: Were they irresponsibly “advanced” in the past?] a university should be a balanced reflection of society. [J4MB: Why?] As a top engineering university we believe that diversity and inclusiveness is crucial for the quality of our teaching and research. [J4MB: Why is it crucial? Is the same true for psychology, medicine, or the many other disciplines dominated by women?] More than that, we believe we can turn a fully representative academic workforce into a unique strength. This is why, from 1 July, all our job vacancies will be exclusively open to female candidates for the first six months after they are advertised.
This is certainly a radical step, as the international headlines about our moveattest. But we felt it was a necessary step as the more subtle measures we tried over the past 10 years were to no avail. [J4MB: Call me crazy, but I’m starting to think women are not inclined towards the field of engineering. I’m ready for you now, doctor.] The targets we set for female recruitment and the missionary work of our chief diversity officers were certainly useful in making our staff and community aware of inequalities and their own biases. As a result, at least two women are now on every selection panel. And yet, the gender imbalance persists with only 16% of our full professors being female – one of the lowest percentages in the Netherlands, and indeed in Europe. [J4MB: The gender balance persists despite there being at least two women on every selection panel? It’s a mystery, all right.]
What has become clear is that during the recruitment and selection processes, all of us – males and females alike – have an unconscious bias that means we gravitate towards male candidates. This makes it harder for women to start and develop their academic careers. To address this unfair situation, we had to take affirmative action, even at the risk of upsetting some male candidates for jobs.
We can conclude at least one thing from the article. Frank Baaijens is a blithering idiot. A rector talking out of his rectum.
UK Men’s Rights Action, our official supporters’ Facebook page, is here.
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