No men, especially if they are white.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, Apr 26, 2022.

  1. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Canadian university advertises for tenure track research chair in its Faculty of Environment - but only women or people who identify as transgender, non-binary or two-spirit are allowed to apply

    • Men, meanwhile, are barred from applying for the job - especially if white
    • The position pays $90,000 and $120,000 a year, according to the ad
    The stipulations from school brass may come as a surprise to some, as the university, which has a main campus in Waterloo, Ontario, and three more satellite campuses in the province, is a public institution, meaning policies that discriminate based on gender are prohibited.

    'However,' the ad asserts that school officials can circumvent that policy by implementing 'special programs' under the Ontario Human Rights Code, 'designed to help people who experience hardship, economic disadvantage, inequality or discrimination.'
  2. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    One of the first thoughts is what is the standard of confirmation for the identification? Are they going to make people “prove” what they identify as to consider them? Is there a standard for a length of time? Review of medical records? Seems the quest may lead to some intrusive hiring practices.
    Rachel83az likes this.
  3. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I've seen postings like this before, especially in Australia (and Canada like this one) where postings are open only to indigenous people or women, etc.

    My gut feeling is that there must be a better way to ensure diversity than simply excluding candidates with criteria you think you have too much of already.

    This sort of restricted posting can backfire, making people think that a qualified candidate was skipped in favor of a "diversity hire" who is less qualified and making the selected candidate wonder if they would have been selected at all in an unrestricted posting.
    JBjunior and Rachel83az like this.
  4. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    IMO, it would be better if resumes were stripped of as much personally-identifying information as possible before being given to whomever it is who chooses which people to invite in for interviews. Remove personal names, dates, even school name(s). Sure, you'd probably still get some biased hiring practices, but it'd be more likely to even the playing field for everyone.
  5. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I think it's the way they are advertising it that makes it problematic. Perhaps they could have created the chair position in honor of a well-known trans, woman, non-binary, etc., designed for the demographic they are trying to attract. I think this would be similar to scholarships and fellowships explicitly created for certain groups. For instance, the American Society of Criminology awards the Ruth D. Peterson Fellowship for Racial and Ethnic Diversity to minorities in Criminology & Criminal Justice doctoral programs. Similarly, Framingham State University offers the Mary Miles Bibb Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship - Criminology, a two-year fellowship for minorities. This position pays the regular full-time faculty salary and benefits. I was actually an applicant who passed the first round of interviews and was invited for a campus visit. However, I declined to be further considered.

    I think if Waterloo framed the Chair position as one created for women, trans, etc., and led the job announcement with that statement, it wouldn't come across as troubling. Instead, it started as a regular job post and then included gender preferences. In any case, I don't think it would be a "diversity hire" because I am sure the selected candidate will be just as, if not more qualified, as a majority candidate. When people talk about including diversity, I don't think they mean an unqualified underrepresented person. They mean a person who is equally or more qualified who is often not considered because of systemic biases that have long existed. There are a lot of qualified people with physical disabilities who are denied (not explicitly) opportunities. The goal is to favorably consider every qualified individual, including the majority, in the hiring process.
    Rachel83az and Dustin like this.
  6. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    This is what I mean by the idea that the posting could backfire. I have no doubt Waterloo would choose the most qualified candidate regardless.

    Others (especially outside academia but not exclusively), may not think that, because of the requirement that certain groups not apply.

    So you may end up with a highly qualified Chair who is not taken seriously.
    Rachel83az and chrisjm18 like this.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It's precisely my experience inside academia that leaves me with considerable doubt about that.

    In the long run, this sort of thing ends up with higher education as a societal institution not being taken seriously.
    Helpful2013 and JBjunior like this.
  8. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    These contradictions of intent that happen while people in a position of power show themselves as attempting to fix a problem can be found in nearly every area that affects everyday life. Depending on what the established narrative of a given time and location is however, those people in power positions can be seen as either heroes or villains to the majority.

    That's why good and evil, right and wrong are not always as clear-cut as we tend to individually believe it to be. It's often a matter of which side one has chosen, how much time has passed to give people time to reflect on an issue, how much has changed socially since an event or time period has happened, and which side has remained in majority power to write the history of it that influences the masses which in turns usually maintains the "official story".

    We here today see the problem with this particular matter, but only time will tell if what we see as a problem today will be seen the same way by others tomorrow. I like probably many others here have lived just long enough to have witnessed popular positions on things change in ways that are very different than what I thought they ever would, going very much against the stances I held and continue to hold as true, sensible, and fair.
    Maxwell_Smart likes this.
  9. Acolyte

    Acolyte Active Member

    But overall, academia and others with similar agendas have pushed the validity of "inherent bias" so much that it is accepted that no least no white person...can make a relatively objective judgement about who is qualified or not, since (according to the classes I took) all white people are "endemically racist" - race is supposedly always a primary factor for white people in making any evaluation of someone. Note I didn't say that white people have a slightly biased preference for other white everyone else kind of does - that people have a slight bias toward people LIKE THEM. I said white people are "endemically racist". Yay progress! That's what my professors were pushing a few years back. That said, I wish I could get offended by stuff like this - that somehow it wasn't fair or wasn't equal or equitable treatment, but I just can't. If there is a special opportunity for someone that fits whatever bill is being offered - I don't really care anymore. There are plenty of opportunities out there, and there are greater injustices to expend my energy on. I have my opinions about where these types of policies are going, and I'm not sure it's toward a more equitable society - but I could be wrong. Maybe the pendulum has to swing pretty far in the opposite direction before we can all agree on and accept what "equilibrium" looks like. Maybe we have to have people of different "primary identities" in different places in order for problems to become DE-identity-politicized so we can focus on the actual issues from a more objective position. For example, if you have the same policing problems in a department when a white straight male is in charge as you do when a gay, black female is in charge - maybe it isn't the identity of the police chief that is causing the issues and we can stop blaming him/her/them and the systems they represent for those issues and dig a little deeper. If these kinds of special opportunities can dispel some of those myths, then maybe they will serve the greater purpose of all of us getting beyond at least the myopic hinderances of base identity politics. .02
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  10. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    So... binders full of women?
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  11. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    It's not just this job, but some jobs have such absurd or obscure requirements, they're trying to find a niche employee and being too blunt or up front about it. I would have recommended them to remove all the unneeded fluff and just indicate what the job is looking for, they can "slim" down the list of active applicants internally instead of being so, they're just opening a can of worms with this type of advertising for a position. Short and simple is all that is needed, do the rest internally if they wanted a specific niche of applicants, and also word it better... such as preference for women instead of "no men".
  12. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Neh. I prefer my sexists to be totally upfront.
  13. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Men keep tolerating this garbage and the rod just keeps being shoved in deeper. With the way things have been going, I pretty much expect that this will be considered normal going forward. Weak leaders with an agenda turn away from meritocracy, the masses adopt it, and it fosters a mentally weak society with no critical thinking skills and everyone thinking they "deserve" rather than needing to earn. The contradictions are everywhere, but the people who drink the Kool-Aid never see any from their side even when they're impossible to miss.
  14. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    The irony is very fun!
  15. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Has the career path from 'academically promising young person' to 'elite university professor' ever been close to a gender- and race-neutral meritocracy?
    Johann likes this.
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Sugar-coating won't help if it comes to court. Then again, this one won't. Depends where you live.

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