Last week’s poll: special grants for women

Brunel University is to give grants of £1,250 a month to 40 women on postgraduate engineering courses in a bid to redress the under-representation of women in the profession. Is this a positive move toward narrowing the skills gap in engineering?

We had an overall thumbs-down for Brunel University’s special £1250-per-month grants to women on postgraduate engineering courses, with slightly over sixty per cent saying that positive discrimination such as this ultimately works against the concept of gender equality. Only 15 per cent said that it was a good idea which should be taken up by other institutions, while 24 per cent said that, while 49 per cent of schools did little to tackle the perceived gender bias of maths and physics, such moves would amount to little.