Hi Chris! I see where you’re coming from, and I hear this a lot from my university peers. However, I believe that quotas are necessary because studies show time and time again that there is an implicit bias towards women in STEM. What does this mean?
Multiple studies have shown than when two identical resumes, one having a male name and the other a female name, were rated by hiring managers, every single time the male is seen as more qualified than the female (even though their resumes are identical). And the female would have to be as much as 2.5x more qualified than the male.
So I think the quotas are ensuring that the hiring managers don’t let implicit bias get in the way. Because it’s easy to say “as long as they’re equally qualified” but the reality is that they may be equally qualified but implicit bias isn’t letting the hiring managers see that.
Hope this broadens your perspective:)