“We must change the logic of science so that it becomes more collaborative and less competitive.”

Dr. Alejandra Brito, University of Concepcion.

The statement aligns with Dr. Alejandra Brito, an academic at the University of Concepcion who collaborates with the discipline of architecture, and who shared her institution's experience in including the feminist perspective in scientific work.

Written by Paola Fiano Santana and Monica Aros Sieber

“How and why a diagnosis of gender gaps is constructed in universities: the experience of the University of Concepcion” is the title of the discussion that took place on March 28 at the University of Magallanes (UMAG), led by Dr. Alejandra Brito Peña, historian, graduate of History from the University of Chile, Master in History from the University of Chile. Concepcion and a PhD in American Studies from the University of Santiago.

Brito is also the director of the InES Gender Equality Project at UdeC, called “Building Collaborative Networks to Reduce Gender Gaps in Research and Development at the University of Concepcion,” and she visited UMAG in the context of her collaboration on heritage issues with a degree in Architecture. The Gender Directorate at this university took advantage of their visit to coordinate a workshop, where they exchanged knowledge to prepare a diagnosis aimed at identifying gender gaps in higher education.

Cynthia Orellana Ivenes.

“This is something we would like to do in our project, because even though they are two very different realities, in the end it is very useful for us to see how they have incorporated feminist epistemology into their experience,” comments Cynthia Orellana Ivenes, Director of Gender, Equity and Diversity. At UMAG. “We applied for InES Gender, and it was not bad for us, precisely because we did not have the indicators and diagnostics with baselines for the gaps here in the region. This year, the fourth InES Gender Equality Fund comes out with P450 million Over 3 years, we have already started working on it with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research to apply as a university for a project in the field of added science.

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In feminist logic

According to Dr. Brito, “The UdeC InES project on gender focused on building collaborative networks in the scientific field, but we believe that to build these networks, it must be done through a cognitive change, both inside and outside the university. It cannot be based only on competition, but must be done much more through understanding the problems themselves, in brotherhood, that is, in helping each other.

To do this, they based their working model on 4 typical pillars of gender studies. The first is what has just been described as a collaboration between women, known as a “sorority.” The second corresponds to the “glass ceiling,” that is, the hidden restriction on career advancement within organizations. The third is “The Sticky Ground,” which addresses the many difficulties women face in improving their working conditions, as a result of their domestic and caring responsibilities. Finally, there is the concept of Italian feminism, which is defined as the practice of loyalty, trust, and mutual care between women, which works to transmit experiences from one generation to the next.

“This is a central question of feminist epistemology. Changing the logic of science so that it is more collaborative and less competitive. We are in a favorable context today because the National Agency for Research and Development (ANID) has a clear policy in dealing with these issues, because sometimes we think that we already have a limit.” Lower, but sometimes that minimum is relaxed. That's why collaborative work is important, because it allows us to assert ourselves with each other from different universities, large, small and medium, and this allows us to walk and lobby on public policy together.

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The UMAG Gender Director reported that the project being developed proposes two main lines that need to be addressed. The first relates to everything directly related to science, technology, knowledge and innovation, and the second relates to gender institutions.

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