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Positive action will help redress balance

Letters

Sadly, I have come to agree with Helen Stone about the need for positive discrimination to encourage women into the profession (NCE 25 May).

I started work in 1979 and as a graduate engineer I was treated exactly like my male colleagues, but experience and seniority has brought me painfully close to the so-called glass ceiling.

The biggest obstacles to progress have been the more senior personnel. It is only human to prefer those most like yourself and therefore to tend to promote essentially similar individuals unconsciously.

The gender imbalance will never improve until those in authority recognise that in fact they are unwittingly 'positively discriminating' in favour of men.

Rachel Monteith (M), 117 Heath Road, Beaconsfield, Bucks

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