I HAVE nothing against women in engineering; why would I? I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if 100 per cent of engineers were female, (any more than I care that 100 per cent of binmen are . . . men) provided they all get there on merit and, crucially, that they did so because they wanted to.

The trouble is, women themselves appear to have something against engineering. We can’t have that, obviously, so when it comes to getting more ladies involved, what does it matter how you do it? Pressgang them if you have to!

Thankfully, Arti Agarwal, director of Women in Engineering and IT at University of Technology Sydney, has the answer. In a bold move for 2020’s undergraduate intake, female applicants for Engineering and IT will require ten Atar points (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) fewer than the men. This is not trivial: Atar scores range from 0 to 100, so a ten-point boost improves an adequate score to an excellent one.

Full marks must go to Agarwal, not only for making UTS the first university to discriminate openly on the grounds of gender, but also having the cheek to apply to the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board for permission to discriminate!

Agarwal’s sentiments were echoed by civil engineer and general manager of Engineers Australia, Alesha Printz, who believes the move will help with engineering’s ‘marketing problem’ towards women; a notion justified by the fact that women constitute just 18.9 per cent of engineering graduates and a paltry 13 per cent of those employed in the industry. 

The trouble is, reading between the lines and the headline figures, the ‘issue’ is a complete non-starter. Firstly, here is Agarwal’s justification:

In order to step-change gender diversity in these professions, the gender mix at undergraduate entry-level needs to change.

Why? Why is gender diversity unquestionably desirable? And why then is it so selectively desirable? Why are we not attempting to ‘step-change gender diversity’ among teachers, psychologists, veterinarians, or nurses? Why aren’t we obsessed with getting more women down the mines, in the sewers or on the oilrigs – why is it always Dirty Harry not Dirty Harriet? And why do you never hear about the gender pay gap for models? 

Secondly, Agarwal argues that gender diversity will lead to better buildings and design in the wider world:

We (women) ride in cars, we use public transport, we do all kinds of things . . . If they are only being designed and engineered by one gender, then the requirements and needs of the other gender can get missed a bit.

I confess I have my doubts on this. Sure, I stormed out of the Sistine Chapel when I discovered the sisterhood hadn’t painted 50 per cent of it, but otherwise I’d give it a grudging B+.

Thirdly, Agarwal stretches the imagination a bit when she claims lowering standards has nothing to do with lowering standards:

The decision would not lower the quality of the graduates, I really cannot stress this enough – we are not taking people who don’t deserve to be here.

Sure, apart from the fact that the only selection criterion is an ability to score ten points fewer than the men.

But the final, and perhaps most pertinent, point is: why would you celebrate the act of sabotaging the career of someone more qualified than you simply because he bears the ignominy of a Y-chromosome? 

The ‘women are perpetual victims’ narrative is becoming decidedly tiresome. You require only the mildest curiosity to discern that it is a hoax. The gender pay gap is a myth; governments make enormous investments into STEM diversity, and employers favour women 2:1 in STEM fields generally.

The hard truth which the Left simply cannot stand is that men and women are not interchangeable. Sex differences in the workplace manifest themselves in a variety of ways, not least of which is inclination – men prefer things, women prefer people, and ambition – women are less driven than men.

Worse news is yet to come (hold on to your Guardians): as a direct consequence of female preference, men dominate the extremes of the population distribution on most measures. On the issue of ability, the data is heavily skewed in favour of men. At near-genius IQ levels (say, 145), the male-to-female ratio is 8:1; at 170 it’s 30:1.

If you consult the real world you will find this replicated endlessly: 99 of the top 100 chess players in the world are men. Male Nobel Prize winners outstrip females at a ratio of almost 18:1. Even Le Chef’s compilation of the world’s 100 best chefs has precisely two women on it – and surely no one is objecting to women spending more time in the kitchen?

If you’re bothered by that, you might want to ask yourself why you’re not concerned with the patriarchy paying all the tax, sweeping up after the latest Woman’s March, or filling the prisons – it works both ways.

The great irony of the Left is that it already has equality and diversity – it doesn’t want it! What the Left now rails against is not inequality, but freedom of choice. To make its ideological bed comfortable, it demands 50:50 splits across infinite dimensions, to save it from the inevitable conclusion that people are not equal, and never could be.

If you appreciated this article, perhaps you might consider making a donation to The Conservative Woman. Our contributors and editors are unpaid but there are inevitable costs associated with running a website. We receive no independent funding and depend on our readers to help us, either with regular or one-off payments. You can donate here. Thank you.