Is this fair? University job ad for a mathematician says it will only accept female candidate as lecturer says it’s about ‘correcting a culture’

Article by Khaleda Rahman /
Daily Mail /
November 10, 2017 /
Click here to view original /

The University of Melbourne is advertising a job for a Maths professor – but will only accept applications from women to ‘correct a culture.’

The job advertisement encourages ‘suitably qualified’ women to apply.

Neil Mitchell blasted the ad as ‘tokenism’ and discrimination against men on 3AW on Friday.

But Dr Lauren Rosewarne, a gender and feminist politics lecturer at the university, told him it was about ‘correcting a culture.’

When Mr Mitchell called it ‘illogical,’ she replied: ‘The idea of deliberately going after women in a field where women are unrepresented is hugely important.

‘If your definition of logic is changing a culture then steps towards that are completely logical.’

She added: ‘Targeted recruiting happens in lots of industries for lots of different reasons to attract specific kinds of applicants.

‘This isn’t an anomaly in that regard.’

‘Perhaps women don’t like Maths,’ he said. 

‘Arguably there’s lots of research that says women get dissuaded form continuing with Maths,’ Dr Rosewarne replied.

‘That could be for a lot of reasons. Is it that they don’t have female lecturers who are inspiring them to go on into postgraduate study and then become the lecturers of next year?’

And when Mr Mitchell insisted it was ‘tokentistic,’ she replied: ‘Not if you’re trying to change the culture that has marginalised women in this field for years.

‘I’m pro quotas for the same reason.

‘You have to deliberately change a culture because it doesn’t happen naturally.’