In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis.
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The usual form is that the Northern
Irish parties have the occasional
lengthy sulk but then make up
and get on with running
the country again.
This time it's just the sulk.
The position of the UK Government
remains the same, devolved
government is in the best interest
of everyone in Northern Ireland and
is best for the union.
is best for the union.
For the Northern Ireland secretary,
it's a Valentine's day headache.
We'll ask the DUP whether
they are embarrassed
at the inability of their region
to look after itself.
Oxfam loses another star,
Senegalese musician Baaba Maal told
us tonight he's withdrawing
as an ambassador for the charity.
The charity's former Nigeria
country manager tells
us her own experiences
of working there.
And I thought that I would be
protected. I thought I would be
safeguarded from sexual harassment
and from sexual abuse.
and from sexual abuse.
And why don't women dominate
in subjects like science and maths?
Is it because they're
just not interested?
People have long thought that
the more gender equal a country,
the more similar men and women
will become in their interests
and occupational choices.
We find the opposite.
We'll hear both sides
of the argument.
Hello, it's taken 13 months now
for the two main parties
in Northern Ireland to fail
to form a government.
At least until today they were
working on trying to create one.
Remember, the Prime Minister went
to Belfast on Monday
with the Irish Taiseach,
Leo Varadker, in the hope a deal
was about to be born.
But this afternoon,
the talks collapsed.
Sinn Fein and the DUP
blame each other.
The sticking point was an argument
over official recognition
of the Irish language.
Now, let's be clear,
that part of the UK is ungoverned
right now and that it happens to be
the same part that is at the most
fraught border of the whole Brexit
argument, is one massive
headache for the British government.
And making it all the more difficult
is the fact that the UK government
is sustained in parliament
by the DUP.
Two questions: how did we get here,
and what happens now?
A year is a long time in politics
and sell them in the 13 months that
storm has stood empty has the
prospect for devolved government in
Northern Ireland seem bleaker. Today
the DUP pulled the plug on the
latest round of talks, but crucially
for the first time they appeared to
call for the imposition of direct
As a result of our inability
at this stage to reform an
executive, it is incumbent upon her
Majesty's government to step in and
come forward with a budget and start
taking some key decisions around
health, education and infrastructure
and taking decisions in those
matters that really mattered to the
people of Northern Ireland.
unsurprisingly Sinn Fein put the
blame on the DUP.
The DUP leadership
has failed to come forward and close
on the issues where we found an
accommodation. These issues will not
go away. We are engaged with both
governments and over the course of
tomorrow we will set out more
positive response in relation to
where we go from here.
block is ever was the thorny issue
of the Irish language. We have seen
deadlines come and go this year, but
could this really be the end the
line? In January 2017, the late
Martin McGuinness stood down as
Deputy First Minister in protest at
the handling of a controversial
renewable heating scheme. The
Stormont government collapsed and
still has not returned. A second
election in two years failed to
break the deadlock and talks between
Sinn Fein and the DUP failed again
and again. Fast forward to 2018 and
hopes of a deal looked brighter.
Theresa May even visited Belfast
this week to push things over the
line. No such luck. But as civil
servants have warned that pressing
budget decisions need to be made,
the restoration of democratic
accountability is becoming critical.
All sides reaffirmed their
commitment to the principles of
devolution. But direct rule seems
more likely now than at any stage in
the last decade. A return to direct
rule presents a number of
challenges. For one thing, there are
serious concerns about the
constitutional readiness of the
Northern Ireland Office in the
treasury behind me to handle the
logistical challenge of running
Northern Ireland from Whitehall. It
employs around 150 people for
example. Second, in a Parliamentary
timetable that is full to bursting
with Brexit legislation it is not
clear how the necessary space will
be made for running Northern Ireland
from Westminster. Direct rule from
Westminster has happened before, but
not quite like this.
have we had a British Government
that is beholden to the DUP. The
nationalist parties, Sinn Fein and
the SDLP, will be aware of that and
they were really want to find some
ways of mitigating that DUP
influence in joint authority or some
form of joint authority between the
British and Irish governments is
something they will push forward to
mitigate that DUP influence at
The institutions of the
Good Friday Agreement provides for
at least one form of joint
authority, that is clear. The
prospect of ever getting an
executive up and running again in
Stormont is much less so.
Stormont is much less so.
We'll speak to the DUP in a moment,
but first I'm joined from Belfast
by Ciaran Mac Gilla Vine -
he's from the campaign group con-roo
na gaeligah which advocates
for the Irish Language.
Good evening. Can you explain to us
what the issue is about an Irish
language at, what would be in it and
what difference it would make?
2006 in the International Saint
Andrews agreement but the British
and Irish governments committed to
introducing an Irish language act,
essentially affording Irish speaking
citizens hear the same rights that
the speakers of Welsh in Wales get
for instance. Since then the DUP use
their veto and their power to
prevent this and at the same time
took a number of progressive
measures against the Irish language.
Most recently they blocked a scheme
which supported disadvantaged young
people and this brought the issue
and compounded the issue of the
absence of rights for the Irish
In practical terms what would
the act have in it that would
legislate or mandate or prohibit?
What would it actually do that you
cannot do now?
The basic elements of
the act that we have been calling
for, based on best international
practice, would be things like
official status for the language,
currently the language has no
official status. We want an
independent commissioner to remove
the language from that atmosphere at
Stormont. We want more visibility
for the language through signage on
our roads and on public buildings.
Basic measures that are afforded
across other regions in the UK and
afforded to Irish citizens in the
south, but which the DUP have
steadfastly refused to allow here.
Is there anything you could offer in
return? Arlene Foster said respect
for the union and British identity
has to be in doubt, it cannot be a
one-way street. Is there any trait
to be done there? Clearly they have
tried and failed, but is there
anything you could think that you
could offer that would satisfy her?
I am not offering anything, I am
just advocating for the Irish
language. But it was made in the
Saint Andrews agreement, the very
firm commitment around the Irish
language and that was already made
in 2006. What we need is
implementation of that deal. We need
citizens here to be afforded rights
and the DUP about this very strongly
as the UK and how we are in tune
with the rest of the UK, but when it
comes to different speakers of the
language, there is a marked
difference on how they are treated
and that cannot continue and there
will not be another assembly here
that facilitate the discrimination
against Irish speakers. Largely as a
society here, they look at the case
of Irish speakers as a litmus test
to see how serious the DUP are about
Let's stop to the DUP.
Let's stop to the DUP.
Joining me now from Londonderry
is Gregory Campbell,
DUP MP for East Londonderry
and member of the Northern Ireland
Affairs Select Committee.
Good evening. Is he
right when he says it is an agreed
principle that there will be an
Irish language act. It was in the St
Andrews agreement in 2006 and it has
What happened was the
UK Government as part of a side deal
with Sinn Fein agreed there should
be one but it would be a matter for
the devolved institution to
establish how that might work. What
has happened in the intervening ten
or 12 years, and this is where the
previous speaker I'm afraid apart
from outlining a very prejudiced
view was totally inaccurate, not
only is the Irish language not
disadvantaged, tens of millions of
resources are lavished on the Irish
language. In fact, if you look at
the whole series of minority
languages in Northern Ireland, more
money is put into the promotion of
Irish and all the other language is
put together. There are Irish
language schools open aplenty.
sorry, I do not want to get into the
argument about it, was it agreed
there would be an Irish language
act? It seems the British Government
did agree to that and the British
Government is now likely to take
control so you would have no
objection to the British Government
meeting its obligation to give them
an Irish language act?
What we need
to do is look at this in terms of an
agreement to get political
I thought it was done in
the St Andrews agreement, a
provision for an Irish language act?
If you signed it, you have to
deliver it, right?
We were asked to
give our consent to get, we were not
asked, that was not great.
British Government has an
international obligation to deliver
an Irish language act. If the
British Government takes direct rule
and imposes an Irish language act,
what will you do?
Will that be a
problem? Of course it would be a
problem because it would further
advantage the Irish language over
and above where we stand at the
moment. It is advantageous position
would be increased even more. The
problem is not the Irish language,
it is the politicisation of that
language. No one in Wales and
Scotland who uses Gallic uses it as
a political weapon to attack
Scotland and Wales from the UK, but
that is what happens here.
bring the British Government down if
they said, by the way, we are going
to give them an Irish language act?
Would you bring Theresa May's
government down because you are
holding her up at the moment?
not an issue to bring governments
down, what we want to do is
re-establish one that we have not
got the moment. We can only do that
if people move forward on the basis
of some form of consensus, so we win
and Sinn Fein wins, unionism wins
and nationalism wins.
If the British
Government says we have taken direct
control and everywhere in the UK has
same-sex marriage, you would not
mind? You would not bring the
government down if they said that on
day one they would have same-sex
marriage in Northern Ireland?
you see, if we went down that route
we would put forward a series of
other proposals we would ask from
the government. It is not
advantageous to talk about if our
government in London were to say,
you is what we plan to do, A, B, C,
and offend everybody in the course
You are not running
Northern Ireland, you have stepped
away, no one in Northern Ireland is
running it. You have suggested that
the British Government run Northern
Ireland, so why shouldn't they run
it like the rest of Britain?
Same-sex marriage everywhere, why
should they not do that in Northern
Ireland if you want them to run it?
Do you want them to run it on your
What we want to do, all of
these matters, whether it is Irish
language or same-sex marriage, we
want to work at trying to resolve
them within the context of the
Stormont institutions, the devolved
institutions. We are not leaving
those things out and saying they
will never happen, we are saying we
are not prepared to jeopardise the
government in Northern Ireland on
the altar of some sort of
precondition which is we will only
operate the government if we get all
these things. That is a recipe for a
zero-sum game and we cannot do that.
We have got to get a government up
and running and we will sort those
issues out across the divide and
reach some sort of accommodation
that everyone can live with.
Oxfam has lost another ambassador
tonight amid the scandal which has
engulfed the charity.
Last night it was Minnie
Driver who stepped away.
Now the well-known Senegalese
musician Baaba Maal has told
Newsnight he's breaking his link
to the organisation.
Mr Maal had been a global ambassador
for Oxfam since 2012
but in a statement he told this
programme, "What has
happened on a human level
is disgusting and heart breaking.
It is very sad.
should always be protected.
As such I am disassociating myself
from Oxfam immediately".
Meanwhile, more continues to emerge
about Oxfam and other NGOs.
It's the familiar phenomenon
of the dam bursting -
one accusation breaks
through at first, leading
to a flood thereafter.
Tonight we bring you separate
testimony from two former aid
workers who together raise
new questions about
the crisis in the sector.
We'll start with Lesley Agams,
who worked as Oxfam's country
director in Nigeria,
and who claims she was sexually
assaulted by a more senior manager
while on an official gathering
in Oxford in 2010.
She informally reported what had
happened and tried to secure
an apology only to find herself
sacked from the charity
a few months later.
I spoke to Lesley Agams from Abuja
earlier this evening,
starting with what had happened
on that night in Oxford in 2010.
Myself and other country directors
from West Africa, we have been
sitting with him, just talking shop.
He kept on referring to a document
that he wanted me to see. I wasn't
sure what it was and he kept on
saying he would want me to go pick
it up when we go up stairs. I went.
At the time I only hesitated for one
reason. I did not want to be seen in
his room or stay too long in his
room because I did not want any kind
of, anything which might impinge on
my on my professional capacity. But
I went anyway to pick up the
document, I thought it would be a
brief visit. We got to his room and
he showed me what I discovered was a
concept map. I said OK, let's
discuss it on Monday, the next day.
As I was leaving the room and about
to go out the door he grabbed me.
And he assaulted me. I managed to
get out of his grip and rise of the
I am sorry to make you
recount that. Let's pick up the
story after, you did tell Oxfam, you
told somebody there, you did not
make a formal complaint at that
point, you thought you would try to
deal with it by extracting an
apology and a guarantee it would not
happen again, did not want to make a
formal complaint did you?
I need to
give some context, I mean, why did
you not report is the question every
victim and survivor of violence
against women always asked. I was
aware I was working in actual
environment. Even at our regional
headquarters there was a casual sex
going on. At the time this incident
happened -- a casual sexism going
on. At the time of this incident, I
felt even if my abuser was punished
I would not be able to work in West
Africa. As for an apology it was a
suggestion of the human resources
person I spoke to, that I was
reporting this incident to at Oxfam.
Her first question was if I had had
an affair with him. It was not until
later it had occurred to me that for
her to ask that question major did
not believe what I was saying in the
Perhaps the most
extraordinary part of the story is
that you were terminated, sent a
note of dismissal from Oxfam about
three months later. And of course
the man who use a assaulted you was
involved in the decision to
terminate your contract.
He was the
one who delivered the letter to me,
he was the one who signed the letter
to me. And while I am sure that
other people might have been
involved in that decision, he was
the one who carried it out.
in the end did leave Oxfam, you're
pushed out and you had a terrible
time trying to get them to see it
from your point of view.
no effort whatsoever to actually
conduct a proper investigation. I
was not able to go and make this
report to Thames Valley Police until
12 months later. At the time they
told me how unfortunate it was
because they could no longer request
for the CCTV footage from the hotel,
that would have a least shown me
running out of the hotel room, both
going with him to the hotel room and
running out of the hotel room.
Because the CCTV footage is only
kept for six months. That was a time
when I even got even more angry with
I think many people will be
surprised that an organisation which
is so progressive in its political
campaigns and in its general outlook
would be handling this in a way
which leaves you so dissatisfied,
what is going on here do you think?
I was extremely surprised myself. I
started work in the humanitarian
sector five years before that
because I thought it was an
international organisation, it was a
humanitarian organisation and I
thought that I would be protected, I
thought I would be safeguarded from
sexual harassment and sexual abuse.
I did not in my wildest imagination
think I would receive the sort of
treatment that I have. I think it is
self evident. I think Oxfam has put
the reputation before the lives of
both the people who work for them
and the people who they claim to
What is your advice to
people who want to help poor
countries, who maybe have a desire
to donate money to those in GOP
Australia who are helping other
countries, what is your advice? Is
your advice to not give money to
Oxfam? Is Oxfam worse than the
I think it's an issue of
power. It's an organisation which
has gotten too powerful and as they
say, power corrupts. They began to
rebel more in their power than the
good things they give people. But if
people want to help, help is good.
That is what makes us human. That is
what keeps us human. I think it's
important we continue to support
each other as human beings. I think
after my treatment a lot of the
stories I have heard from people,
from women who have no intention of
coming forward because they still
have careers and from what we've
heard both from the UK and Chad --
from Haiti and Chad, the statement
that women are at the centre of our
work, takes on a very sinister
Thank you so much for
talking to us.
I should say that although we've not
named the man who Lesley says
attacked her, his account
of what happened that
evening is very different.
He denies assault and on his version
of events, Lesley's contract
was terminated because the Nigeria
programme was not going well.
We did ask Oxfam for an interview
today but nobody was available.
In a statement the charity said the
decision to sack Leslie was taken by
people more senior than her manager.
It said an investigation by its own
staff and the police failed to find
sufficient evidence to substantiate
Well, let's hear about another aid
charity and another case now.
This NGO was called Merlin,
but this does involve the man
at the centre of the main Oxfam
scandal, the Belgian
Roland Van Hauwermeiren.
He was running Oxfam's programme
in Haiti but was sacked
for using prostitutes.
He has been very quiet
since the whole scandal erupted last
week, no journalist seems
to have found him.
But it emerged yesterday he had been
implicated in similar misconduct
in Liberia years before.
Paul Hardcastle is a veteran aid
worker and was there in Liberia
with Merlin at the same time
as Van Hauwermeiren
and he complained at what he saw.
I asked him what Roland Van
Hauwermeiren was like.
Well, he was Belgian,
he spoke two or three languages.
He was an ex-Belgian
army officer and he was
about 50-52 at the time.
And he was the country
manager for Merlin in
Liberia and he had been
there for about 18 months.
But you were saying that
when you were in Liberia, and
you were not there as long as he
was, when you were there you were
seeing things you did not
think we're good at all.
So what were you seeing that
you thought was really
I was seeing just open corruption.
I mean, the Merlin office was,
I am sorry to say this,
it was like the marketplace.
Our fuel was being
stolen at a huge rate,
something like 1000 gallons
a month, that type of thing,
a massive amount of fuel loss which
meant that we couldn't run our field
vehicles, which meant that we
couldn't implement our programme and
said that was my first head to head
Tell us about the sexual stuff.
Explain what was going
on on a typical night what is
What are those staff
at headquarters doing in
Yeah, well, it was much less
restricted than being in the
There was a UN curfew at 11
o'clock so everybody
should be in their houses at 11
o'clock for security reasons
But this was not the case.
With Merlin they were the exception
so they had their drivers
on stand-by to ferry them
around to the nightclubs
and then to bring
girls back to his house,
his own team has as it were.
And then ferried
the girls back again.
An interesting question is why these
practices were tolerated.
I know you didn't want
to tolerate them, so who
did you take them to?
Who did you tell?
OK, well, there was a line
of control in terms of personnel
management and it was quite clear
we had a code of conduct and so you
reported, as I was the senior
manager within Merlin, so then you
have to report to your
The trouble was, that is where
it was coming from, the
You went back to London
at that point to Merlin
headquarters in London?
So he sacked me and I rang up Merlin
headquarters in London
and I said to them,
I've been sacked, it is
obvious setup job, I will
write you a situation
report, an evaluation.
And I did that and I went back
to London and had several meetings
with all the main staff in Merlin
they agreed that they would go out
and assess the situation, which they
did, and then they made
the decisions to fire
them, or, for them
And I think the only fired one
person and I think two
But the important thing
is that they must have known
that this was going on.
You would have to be
entirely blind or not to
listen to any of
the people out there.
No one dared to blow
the whistle and that is a huge
problem with aid agencies.
Do you give money to aid agencies,
to NGOs working out
in the field now?
Evan, between you and me,
I would never give a pound and I
have never given a pound.
I have worked for many
years, over 45 years
in the field, a 50 year period,
and I would never give £1 to any aid
Just to sort of explain
that, there is such a
disconnect between the head
office and the field.
And there is a disconnect
which is incredibly
Basically aid workers are not
getting the support that they
deserve and that they need and that
includes guidance, training, it
includes back stopping,
these things have to happen in any
dire situation like that.
You are talking about human beings.
By head office you don't mean
London, you mean the
office in the country?
You mean London?
I mean London.
And that is why I am
talking about it.
That is why I am passionate
this situation so that aid
organisations can get their house in
Paul Hardcastle, thank you very much
indeed for talking to us.
Now, Merlin that you heard
mentioned there joined
Save the Children in 2013,
nine years after these events.
Save the Children has told us that
Roland Van Hauwermeiren was never
an employee of theirs.
They said they are unable to assist
any further in this matter.
Newsnight has been unable
to contact Mr Van Hauwermeiren
for his own comment.
Last summer, a Google engineer wrote
a memo suggesting that the company's
drive to get more women
into its coding jobs
was potentially not going to work.
Fewer women may be interested
in those jobs, he said,
citing biological differences
between men and women.
The memo turned out to be
very controversial -
this subject always is -
and the writer, James
Damore, was sacked.
He probably hardened opinion
in favour of helping women overcome
inequalities in the workplace.
But lurking in the background
are one or two interesting
observations that even critics
of the Google memo have to concede.
That women have come to dominate
some previously male
professions, but not others.
And there is an observed paradox
that more gender equal countries
seem to have fewer women
in science and engineering.
Can that be right?
Our technology editor David Grossman
has been looking at the evidence.
Many university physical science
labs physically resemble this
robotics laboratory at Leeds
Getting more women to study
and pursue careers in stem subjects,
science, technology engineering
and maths has in recent years crept
up the political agenda.
Looking at undergraduate
enrolments in 2016-17,
of students whose principal subject
was physics, just 22.1% were women.
In computer science just 17.2%.
In engineering and
And in maths just 37.1%.
A study published today
by researchers in Leeds and Missouri
suggests the solutions may
not be straightforward.
People have long thought
that the more gender equal a country
is, the more similar boys and girls
and men and women will
become in their interests
and occupational choices.
If you ask the average person
in the street do you think
that there are more women
going into stem in Finland
and Norway than in Turkey
or Algeria, people will say
obviously Finland or Norway
because we know those are very
gender equal countries.
But we see the opposite,
said that is a very paradoxical
But we see the opposite,
so that is a very paradoxical
finding and that is why we called
this study the gender
The researchers took the level
of gender equality as measured
by the World Economic Forum's global
gender gap index and plotted it
against the proportion of women
graduates in stem subjects.
No countries were high
on both measures.
Countries like Finland,
Norway and Sweden measured high
for gender equality,
but low for women stem graduates.
In countries like UAE,
Tunisia, Turkey and Algeria
it was the other way around.
This, by the way, is the UK.
What the study does not do is come
up with any firm answers
as to why this should be,
although the researchers
do have a theory.
Life satisfaction is higher
in gender equal countries
and we think that when life
satisfaction is higher
and when people feel more
secure in a society,
they feel they can do
what they really like.
They are less driven
by economic interests.
But there are other explanations
offered, that women in less gender
equal societies have not been
excluded from science
in the past like women
in Europe and North America.
The only female Fields Medal winner
winner, the Fields Medal
is like the Nobel Prize
was Maryam Mirzakhani,
an Iranian-American women,
and I don't think
that is a coincidence
that she happened to be Iranian.
Iran has very good rates
of women in science.
They don't have the same stereotypes
for some reason as Europe does.
So I think really this
reflects a historical fact,
this long legacy of exclusion
is the reason why in Europe we still
see this lag, women catching up.
We are still working so hard
to change the culture
because for so long the culture
was so against women.
However, the gap in so-called stem
subjects only tells us part
of the story about women studying
science subjects at university.
There are plenty of subjects with
big gender gaps that favour women.
Of undergraduates whose
principal subject is
medicine, 55.2% are women.
In dentistry it is 62%.
In biological sciences it is 63%.
In veterinary science it is 77.3%.
And in nursing it is 90.5%.
Indeed, taken as a whole, women
account for 51.5%, just over half
of science undergraduate enrolments.
Most subjects at university
are dominated by women.
There are very few areas -
we mentioned engineering
and computer science that
are dominated by men -
but the gaps there are much smaller
than for things like nursing,
teaching, social work,
education studies and so on.
I think it would be much better
if we concentrated in getting gender
equality across all subject areas,
rather than just focusing
narrowly on stem.
So why do men and women often end up
on different career paths?
Why are some occupations
so dominated by one gender?
The answers, it appears,
are far from straightforward.
I am joined now by Jess Wade,
a Physician from Imperial College
London, and Belinda Brown,
a research associate
from University College London.
Good evening. Do you basically think
men and women are the same and you
would expect them, short of social
pressure, to be more or less the
I do not think they are the
same, I acknowledge there are
differences, but I think men and
women can contribute equally to the
success of science and I think it is
important for physics, engineering,
biology, computer science, that
everyone is involved in research so
we get the most interesting outcomes
and the diverse range of
think 50-50 recruitment at
university at postgrad is about
It is realistic to expect
that. In all cases, especially cases
I have come across, and I work a lot
with the Institute of physics who
have done a lot of good work in this
area, girls enjoy subjects like
physics and if they are encouraged
to do them and if they have the
confidence to do them and they
studied them, they can do really
well in them. We need to make sure
everyone is aware that can study the
subject and they can have an awesome
time at university and feel like
they can contribute. Science would
be better if they contributed.
you disagree with anything Jess has
I am all for encouraging
everybody to study science as Jess
says. We have to be a little bit
careful because there has been a
really big emphasis on
discrimination happening and this
can actually have the unintended
consequence of getting women into
science because they think there is
discrimination in there and it puts
them of doing it. Really we want to
sell science as a great subject to
boys and girls equally.
expect if you pushed it equally to
everybody that the outcome would be
No, I would not. You would
probably end up with fewer girls in
these very select few, say
computing, engineering and physics.
We probably will end up with
slightly fewer girls and this does
come back to differences which you
find universally. Whether you are
looking at gender equal countries or
gender unequal countries, even in
the countries where there are more
female scientists, there were still
fewer, I will not say scientists, I
will say more female programmers,
there will still be fewer female
programmers. This goes back to
differences at all kinds of levels
between men and women and some of
these, for example women will turn
to prioritise. Even when you are
looking at the most mathematically
precocious women they will
prioritise the work - life buyers.
Said they select a certain kind of
profession. Jess, how do you explain
the paradox we saw there that the
gender equal countries, the
Scandinavian countries, have not got
more female scientists?
We have to
take culture of society into account
and Scandinavian countries are very
different to UAE countries and
gender equality is one thing that is
very different. But we have toys for
children, how we put clothes on
children, how we navigate children
through the Key stages of their
decision-making about whether they
will become scientists and
associated with a scientist and that
is even the same for grown-ups.
would there be fewer scientists?
have something interesting going on,
especially at the adult career
stage. In countries like the UAE
they do not value careers in science
and engineering as highly as we do
in the UK and in Scandinavia. We
have this idea that to succeed in
science and engineering you have to
be brilliant, a complete genius, you
have to do all these amazing things
and be an isolated, theoretical
physicist. What people and parents
and teachers do not realise is there
a whole bunch of average scientists
and engineers out there having a
great time and doing what they love
as a job. In countries where they
recognise that they have more gender
balance within those subjects and
they pay them less. So we do not
really celebrate doctors here is
much any more, medical doctors, and
there is a gender imbalance.
explain that women choose not to do
coding or do you explain it as women
have less aptitude?
It is a mixture
of both. Let me say, there will
always be women who could be
fantastic at coding but I think it
is partly that they are less likely
to choose coding and maybe because
they are less likely to have
aptitude. I really do not want to
cite the statistic that for example
if you look at it, I will do because
it is relevant, if you look at the
intelligence distribution, men and
women have equal... Be careful. We
are equally intelligent but if you
look at the very top 5% of the most
intelligent people they will tend to
be slightly more males. If you look
at lowest intelligence there were
also be more males. I think there
are possible differences in aptitude
but that should not be in the wake
of this. We can always overcome
them. An interesting thing is if you
acknowledge differences, you can
start to overcome them if that's
what you think we should be doing.
That is what I would question.
need to leave it there. That is all
we have time for tonight. It will be
Kirsty tomorrow. From all of us now,