Eindhoven University has come under fire after attempting to redress a gender imbalance in their staff.
Female representation in STEM fields has been called into question, stirring a debate whether innate or structural differences between men and women are a causal factor for their low turnout.
The Dutch engineering university has taken matters into their own hands–by ignoring male staff applications for six months.
To achieve a better gender balance we will be opening up all vacancies for permanent academic staff exclusively to women in the first six months of recruitment. 👩🎓👩🔬👩🏫https://t.co/dMFIt6fLF2 pic.twitter.com/HdDEObtrM6
— TU Eindhoven (@TUeindhoven) June 18, 2019
The employment moratorium was explained in a tweet as “to achieve a better gender balance we will be opening up all vacancies for permanent academic staff exclusively to women in the first six months of recruitment.“
In an article for The Guardian, it was explained that “as a top engineering university we believe that diversity and inclusiveness is crucial for the quality of our teaching and research. More than that, we believe we can turn a fully representative academic workforce into a unique strength.”
When the legality of the hiring practice was questioned on social media, it was simply brushed off as ‘positive discrimination’–quite a dystopian phrasing to excuse hiring candidates of potentially lower quality in order to fulfill a diversity quota.
— Garbage Human 🗑 (@GarbHum) June 20, 2019
Social media users ‘ratioed’ the university’s tweet, expressing concerns regarding the abilities of female staff–as to whether they were employed on their qualifications or reproductive organs.
So the next time I see female academic staff I (and others) will wonder if they got in for their uterus. As a female I detest strategies like these. I do not want to question whether people think I’m capable of a job or whether they think I’m a nice minority bonus. #TU #Eindhoven
— Nora Baltus (@skeedio) June 18, 2019
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