Thursday, May 20, 2010

Come on Ladies

This article by The Globe And Mail spends a lot of effort telling us that the government is sorry that no women won grants to become Canada Excellence Research Chairs under the governments attempt to attract academic talent with the 20 million dollar program. But what really do they have to be sorry about?

The G&M themselves finds "No deliberate attempt to shut out women, but concludes the tight deadlines for the competition, the areas picked for research and a competition where candidates on the short list had only a 50 per cent chance of winning probably all worked against female candidates."

With the government falling over itself to make amends for the lack of women in what has been ruled as a fair competition, it has elicited the help of three prominent women academics...

Their recommendations include;

1.To include a rising stars category - this is apparently to offset the male domination in some fields... but if it is proven talent that the government is trying to attract then to throw money at potential ability is contrary to the point.

2. another suggested the inclusion of an "established leaders" category - hold on, If the complaint being addressed by point #1 is that there aren't enough women in some of these fields do they really mean that they want an "established women leaders" category?

There is a nebulous complaint directed at an academic old boys club and this is connected once again to male domination, not any specific misogyny. But the specific complaint seems to be that women were unwilling to try, and that is the real tragedy here.

As the article states;

"Senior women also may be more reluctant than their male colleagues to move for personal reasons or to enter a competition where the odds of success were 2 to 1, the report says, citing U.S. studies."

The question that ought to be asked is why are women unwilling to extend themselves to compete for an opportunity like this? There has been a human rights challenge to the fact that 19 male winners were selected and not one woman but is this a symptom of the problem? Do women in our oh so politically correct society expect some sort of gender based distribution regardless of merit, regardless of effort even?

Come on Ladies, you can do better than that!

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