The seven rectors join forces to stop the gender gap in the University | Society

In eight centuries of history of the University in Spain, there have been barely 19 referees and the first He held the position in 1982 (Elisa Pérez Vera at the UNED). Until 1910 women were banned in many races and since then its progression in the hierarchical hierarchy has been very slow. So much so, that it seems miraculous that at this moment seven women govern seven of the 50 public universities. Although it is not a coincidence. Since the Equality Act of 2007 was passed, parity is demanded in government teams - vice-rectors and managers - and, although it is not always true, the results now flourish. That is why on Monday the Summit of Rectors of Spanish Public Universities with the presence of seven was held in Castellón.

Until May there were four -Granada (Pilar Aranda), Autónoma de Barcelona (Margarita Arboix), Basque Country (Nekane Balluerka) and Huelva (Antonia Peña) - and since then they have almost doubled. One of the last to arrive was the philologist Eva Alcón who, encouraged by her classmates in the Jaume I, decided to call her counterparts. Also part of the club are Mavi Mestre, rector of Valencia and María José Figueras, of Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona. "The idea is to bring the conclusions to the vice-rectorates of equality, to the CRUE [todos los rectores] and mark a roadmap to be modified, "says Alcón.

In Spain, women account for 42% of researchers in universities and 41% in public research organizations. They request 42% of the aid from the state R & D plan, but their success rate is lower than that of men, 33% compared to 42%. "At the University of Huelva I find problems in bringing the genre to the regulations, we are preparing a research plan that encourages the researchers, but I imagine and who will be repairing the allegations to knock it down," remarks Maria Antonia Peña, Professor of Contemporary History. In the universities of País Vasco or Córdoba, they have not managed, for example, to include -among other criteria- a gender perspective to obtain a position as a professor or professor. Only the seniority is accredited. It is paralyzed by the governing bodies, in which men are the majority.

The seven rectors join forces to stop the gender gap in the University

Since 1990 more women than men have enrolled in the University. They obtain better rates of return, average scores and suitability and graduation rates, but then their decline begins. The numbers in doctorate (50%) are equal and, although they defend more theses, as it rises in the academic pyramid there are many less teachers. They are only 21% of the body of professors. The zero replacement rate decreed by Cristóbal Montoro five years ago has also slowed down the promotion of hundreds of academics accredited That bottleneck is now beginning to be solved.

The percentage of deans and department directors (27% in 2015) are also low and some campuses take action. "In the Basque Country we have a program with a coach to empower them and access positions of responsibility ", said Balluerka," There must be a commitment to occupy a position in two or three years. 133 women have already been trained, "he continued." At the Autonomous University of Barcelona we organize a teacher and PAS management course. [Administración y Servicios] also to empower them. There are times when positive discrimination must be done ", added Arboix.

The seven rectors join forces to stop the gender gap in the University

All female directors are concerned about the lack of female vocations in technical careers. "In Granada we have had a campus for girls for four years and they told us that it was not constitutional," says Aranda. "In July they join and work in science, very good results are obtained." We were about to close the degree in Computer Science in Ceuta with six or seven students and now there are 25, of which 12 are women because more girls come to our campus " In the Autonomous University of Barcelona they work with bright high school students from depressed areas and take the opportunity to convince them to be engineers. And in Valencia, "a mentoring plan is proposed so that they do not feel the syndrome of the intruders", advances Mestre.

Motherhood or the care of the elderly paralyze many female careers, not only in the University. "The departments are incapable of conciliation measures in the plan of teacher organization", rector Aranda despairs. "The doctor contract ends in five years and at the University of Valencia we opted for whoever has had a maternity leave or for decided care if you discount or not that period," said Rector Mestre.

Including gender studies on campuses is, for these leaders, one of the pending objectives. "We have introduced an elective on issues of equality with the resistance of the institution", Alcón has acknowledged, "because it means removing a subject from another field". At the summit they have also proposed that it be cited differently in indexed journals. "As long as the first names in the magazines are abbreviated, the M will be Manuel no María, which means that the visibility of the researchers is lost," says the rector of Huelva. They also demand more presence in round tables, inaugural conferences, names of university spaces or public recognitions. "In the Rovira i Virgili we only have 12% of honoris causa, I have already told the departments that I hope they propose to women, that they break their heads," said María José Figueras.

Next May the CRUE will have to agree on its new president and two of the seven rectors -Aranda and Balluerka- are already part of the permanent commission of 11 members. Since the CRUE was founded 24 years ago, it has only had one president: Adelaida de la Calle (2011-2013), then rector of Málaga. The Scientific Research Center (CSIC), for its part, positioned just a year ago for the first time a woman at the front: Rosa Menéndez. This chemistry remains in charge after the change of Government. Socialists approved in the past Council of Ministers Women, Science and Innovation Observatory with which they intend to "increase the presence of women in all areas of scientific and university life."

And in parallel, the minister Pedro Duque seeks a new rector for the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP) to replace Emilio Lora-Tamayo. If finally it is a woman, as it is speculated in the university environment, it would be the first in the position in an institution with 86 years of history and the number 20 in all of Spain.


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