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Doesn’t add up: Poster of all-male speakers takes away from ‘Women in Math’ campaign

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A Mormon university in Utah has sparked social media outcry after its math club printed a poster advertising a ‘Women in Math’ panel featuring only male professors.

An image of the poster was shared on social media by a Brigham Young University student questioning if the advertisement was intended as satire. The original tweet received more than 26,000 likes and some 10,000 retweets.A slew of criticism ensued as the image went viral, with the Twitterati quick to condemn the poster.

The creator of the poster – a female student at the university – has since come forward to explain that the purpose of the event was to expose young math majors to fields of research in higher mathematics.

Bryn Balls-Barker said in a Facebook post that while the event was aimed at women men were also invited. “I chose to ask professors that weren’t already affiliated directly with the club so that members of the club would have more opportunity to meet other faculty members.”

“I’m sorry for any offense that was caused, this was in no way meant to be satirical or to make any kind of statement. The purpose was simply to help women in math be exposed to cool math.”

Checked with my baby sister who is in the BYU Women in Math club: this is an event organized BY YOUNG WOMEN who hold monthly meetings. They invite female faculty regularly. These (male) professors are just who they wanted to hear from this month. This is mostly bad design.

— Grace Nielsen (@_gracestep) February 21, 2018

Brigham Young University also issued a statement about the poster debacle, confirming that the poster wasn’t meant as satire and was created with good intentions. The posters have been replaced with a more appropriate message, according to the university.

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