It's been shown that there is no hiring deficit for women in science; women have been hired far more than men for new jobs. Yet women's groups have continued to point to total numbers as the problem, as if to say older men who have been supportive of more diversity and are making it happen on hiring committees should be fired without cause to open up more jobs for women.

Only the weakest candidate wants to be hired as part of a quota. There has to be a better way.

One belief is that more female hiring would occur if the process were "gender-blind" - no way to tell the candidate's sex. In Australia, public servants had to do just that in hiring. Now they are being told to "hit pause" on such progressive blind recruitment trials, because it did not increase the number of women in senior positions, it instead led to fewer females and ethnic minorities being shortlisted, notes Professor Michael Hiscox, a Harvard academic who oversaw the trial.

Instead, having an obvious male or female name attached led to more gender bias against men. Assigning a male name to a candidate made them 3.2 percent less likely to get a job interview while a woman's name was 2.9 percent more likely to get selected.

Hiscox does not want to get a lot of hate mail for noting these awkward results, so he immediately debunked his own work, saying he does not consider it a randomized control trial, and that the public service has a long way to go on gender equality, saying attention should now turn to creating more flexible working conditions and training.