Engineering body calls emergency meeting over CEO’s comments about women


Honorary Master
Pillay keeps his job amid calls for more women in STEM

After writing a sexist article about women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), chief executive of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) Manglin Pillay gets to keep his job.

In an article in the June edition of Civil Engineering magazine titled “Out on a Rib”, Pillay claimed investment in women in the field needed rethinking because they were more predisposed to work in caring and people-oriented careers.

Pillay quoted a study by Leeds Beckett School of Social Sciences and the University of Missouri which said that women at a certain age “prefer to work part-time or dedicate themselves completely to child rearing or pursuing other meaningful exploits generally related to caring”.

He further wrote that in cases where women and men do the same amount of work but are not paid equally, it was because women are “agreeable”. “Stop being agreeable when negotiating pay,” he said.

Following the uproar over his comments, Pillay apologised. The SAICE has accepted his apology and said he could keep his position.
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