Preferential hiring policies are often based on the erroneous assumption that if a designated group is not represented in an occupation or profession in the same proportion as it is represented in the population, then negative discrimination has taken place. In the school of discrimination-logic, no alternative explanations are considered. Not only is it asserted that the white male majority keeps women out by deliberate exclusion, but also by creating a climate in which women are uncomfortable. This explanation is emphasized particularly for the smaller numbers of women in science and engineering. Although there may have been a bias in favour of males in the past, a look at the evidence suggests that, currently, women in Canada are being hired in academic institutions at rates higher than would be expected from the number of qualified applicants. Moreover, their persisting low representation in some fields may be a matter largely of self-selection, reflecting different talents, values, and preferences. It is suggested that hiring women over better-qualified men will inevitably lead to the downgrading of women in academia, to a reduced respect for the professoriate, to poorer education for students, and to a deterioration of collegial relations between men and women.