The College Historical Society (Hist) has changed the structure of its use of gender quotas for the weekly Wednesday night debate. Previously, the society had a quota stating that 30% of debaters in every debate were women. However, according to Hist Auditor Paul Molloy, instead of “focusing on representation in each individual debate, the society is focusing on overall balance in debates over the course of the term”.
When asked about this change, Molloy said: “The previous policy of individual quotas is one which did not hold the support of a majority of women on committee last year, and as a result the current change was instituted in the hopes that it would be both more positive and effective.”
The Historical Society does not, and has never had gender quotas as part of the official Laws of the Society. They also stated that they had not kept “an explicit gender based record of the individuals that speak at our debates”.
In previous years, female members of the Hist had made complaints about alleged sexism and bullying within the committee. In February 2014, several female members of the committee threatened to strike from committee work unless a series of demands, including a 40% quota of female speakers at all debates, were met.