One comment on “Physics etc :)

  1. I think we should encourage more women to take up their interest in science & engineering too. However, I agree with you that it would be a mistake to seek out a 50:50 split – but perhaps we differ a little on the reasons.
    It would be nice if we *were* able to achieve a 50:50 split in the future, but if we ever do then it needs to happen on its own merit. In other words, lots more women would need to take an interest in science as academic and career pursuits so that the pool of potential scientists and engineers approaches 50% men and 50% women. In that environment, positions in the field can be awarded to men and women on candidate strength alone and that being the case I’m sure women would be able to achieve a 50:50 gender split on their own merit. The problem at the moment is the pool of candidates itself is significantly male dominated, and so the only way there would ever be a 50:50 gender split under those conditions is if we showed a preference for female candidates purely with the view to increase the number of females in the science and engineering trades. That would mean potentially turning down better candidates in favour of gender, which I think would be a mistake.

    So yes, I think you’re right to take the problem back to the schools. If schools can encourage more women to take up their interest in science & engineering then the pool of candidates can increase in the female favour and then we can do something about the male domination of the subject.

    If we were able to encourage more women to pursue science and engineering careers then I think this would have a positive effect on the country’s achievements.

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