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The University of Waterloo announced an opening for a tenure track position last month that is only available to “qualified individuals who self-identify as women, transgender, non-binary, or two-spirit.”
The university’s Faculty of Environment is seeking applicants with experience in geography, earth science, environmental science, or sustainability to join as the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Tier 2 Canada Research Chair.
Applicants are asked to fill out a self-identification form to ensure that they fall into one of the four categories that the job is open for, in order to “address the underrepresentation of individuals from equity deserving groups among our Canada Research Chairs.”
“Because this is a special opportunity for a specific member of the four designated groups, applicant self-identification information will be used for the purposes of screening and consideration,” the university said.
Even though the University of Waterloo is a public institution that prohibits discrimination based on gender, it can implement “special programs” under the Ontario Human Rights Code that are “designed to help people who experience hardship, economic disadvantage, inequality or discrimination,” in this case those who self-identify as women, transgender, non-binary, or two-spirit.
“Two-spirit” is a gender-variant that derives from Native American culture, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“Traditionally, Native American two-spirit people were male, female, and sometimes intersexed individuals who combined activities of both men and women with traits unique to their status as two-spirit people,” the department explains.
A student uses his mobile phone as he walks inside the Engineering building at the University of Waterloo. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch )
The tenure track position, which was first reported by the College Fix, was open for applicants from March 21-April 22.
The University of Waterloo did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.