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So, the basis is comments on an internet story?
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Good lord, people are really missing the smilies and the tongue-in-cheek way the article on this piece of research is written [as in: what a surprise, there is confirmation bias and sexism on the internet] and my linking of it to some comments in this thread. Some of the 'good' evidence was linked by me and also is linked in this article. That these are ignored and this link is singled out to attack my argumentation obviously makes me even more convinced that Im right
The point about quotas (or other affirmatve action policies) and few women as top candidates (in academia at least) is that often qualified women do not apply in the first place (for different reasons, one of them is that they are reluctant to compete as they do not consider themselves qualified for the job even if they clearly are (as opposed to men who tend to be overconfident), another is that they are not aware of some jobs because they are outside the informal networks through which these jobs are advertised). So promotion of women in these cases involves search commitees going out there to actively look for suitable candidates and inviting them to apply.
Back to the krippe: Im sure the guys working there have been hired on quotas, it is too much coincidence that in each single group there is exactly ONE male caretaker. Now I will advice all male teens to go into childcare. It must be MUCH easier for them to get jobs in the field.
More general: if quotas mean that qualities of individuals are not evaluated objectively, and it has been shown convincingly that this already is the case while judging performance and qualifications of men and women, quotas for men have been there all along in male-dominated fields. (or yes, for women in female-dominated ones).
Finally, besides all the anecdata put forward here, here is more 'good' evidence
that affirmative action policies (one of them quotas) attract more able women into a competition without reverse discrimination. Good enough impact factor for you Chemmie?
(yes I am aware this is nothing like the real world but such research is much more controllable than field studies and I think we can learn something from it and 2nd yes, Im aware people will now say 'If they are not willing to compete, what the hell are they looking for at the top' - I just disagree because I don't think it is good in general to have people in charge who are there just for the sake of winning (although in some cases it could be) - moreover, it shows that women very well are willing to compete if they think they stand a chance).