Considering that women make half the world population, can they be considered a minority? If we would normalize by the power each group exerts, it is possible to consider women a minority assuming men have more power. However, putting women in the minority class risks the naturalization of the gender unbalance in any context.
See, for example, this tweet by Said Rodriguez:
We are talking about scientific conferences. I don't know in your field, but in every physics/photonics conference I've been, women were a minority.— Said R. K. Rodriguez (@srk_rodriguez) November 26, 2020
No doubts in a male-dominated environment such as physics, researchers will exert their own power to keep the playing field tilted in their own advantage (see: The problem with people in positions of power in academia). Claiming that women are a minority means that there won't be an extra effort to give women their rightful place, especially considering the unpaid work done by women and the Work policies designed for the average.
One of the biggest challenges is that I do believe most of these researchers actively believe they are being fair. They do believe that they are doing the proper math and shield themselves behind statistics. If there are 10 women and 100 men, then in a conference there should be 10% female speakers. An alternative approach: limit the number of male speakers in conferences.
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