Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: More than 2,200 UC members participate in a diagnosis of training on gender issues

What are the gender biases that operate in the university context? Do my classmates participate in classes on equal terms? Is it possible to contribute from administrative tasks to a fairer treatment between men and women within the university?

These and many other questions related to gender equality frequently arise in the discussions that take place within the university community, both at the level of teachers, students and civil servants, showing the growing interest in these issues, and the urgency of increasing female participation in academic spaces.

The project “University training and gender equity: A challenge to sensitize and integrate the gender approach in the culture of the UC community” , financed by Mineduc, will allow the design and implementation of training programs aimed at the academic staff and teachers, as well as as well as the civil servant staff and students on gender equality issues.

One of the first steps in that direction is to measure the expectations of the community in relation to training in gender equality, so between July and September of this year a diagnostic process was developed, in which more than 2,200 people participated. belonging to the administrative, professional, teaching and student bodies, which resulted in a first survey of priority areas of the UC community in terms of gender.

“The diagnosis has reinforced the importance of incorporating the gender approach in our university community and above all it has evidenced the need to mainstream the gender equity approach in all levels of the university” – Pilar Bontá, Head of Gender Equity

Around 75% of the people surveyed consider that it is very important to train with a gender perspective at UC, regardless of the position and function they perform within the university community.

“We are very grateful for the great participation of the university community and the contributions they made to us in each of the surveys and also in instances of meetings and dialogues that we have carried out during this process,” commented the head of Gender Equality at UC , Pilar Bontá. “The diagnosis has reinforced the importance of incorporating the gender approach in our university community and, above all, has shown the need to mainstream the gender equity approach in all levels of the university,” he added.


When asked about the need for training, the vast majority recognized that a gender approach is very necessary (86%), and they link it almost unanimously to the university’s public commitment to the country’s development.
Among those who participated in the survey aimed at students, the majority considered that the student community is sensitive to gender issues. When asked about the need for training, the vast majority recognized that it is very necessary (86%), and almost unanimously linked it to the public commitment of the university to the development of the country.

Regarding the areas of interest, they were offered a list of topics of which the three most valued are: Non-sexist education (45.9%); Gender stereotypes and identities (38%); Gender and diversities (30%). Other preferences go on the side of Parenting and co-responsibility, Public commitment; and Gender violence.

The diagnosis will make it possible to advance in the objective of integrating the students in the processes of institutionalization of the gender approach through the design and implementation of training instances in areas related to gender equality.

On the other hand, and following the objectives of improving the processes related to university management and enhancing the well-being of the community, progress was also made in identifying topics of interest to civil servants; professionals; and administrative staff of the university.

“We have identified a community willing to question and reflect on their practices and knowledge in gender matters and, above all, willing to manage from their areas of specialty” – Erika González, professional Gender Equity Directorate

The diagnosis made on the basis of different documents, and a survey directed at professionals and administrators, concludes that the topics to prioritize in a training plan linked to gender equality are: Introduction to the gender and intersectional approach; Institutional management with a gender perspective; Gender violence and discrimination in university work contexts; and Practices that promote gender equity.

“In this diagnostic process we have identified a university community willing to question and reflect on their practices and knowledge in gender matters and, above all, willing to manage from their areas of specialty, various improvements to make changes that allow progress in equity of gender in the UC ”, commented Erika González, professional of the Directorate of Gender Equity, who has participated in the systematization of the diagnoses.

Teachers: stereotype-free classroom
In August of this year, a workshop on “Gender Equity and University Teaching” was held, organized by the Gender Equity Directorate and the Center for Teacher Development (CDDoc), in which 158 UC professors enrolled.

On this occasion, among the participants, interests were identified in having “tools that allow non-sexist teaching to contribute to building a community that is non-discriminatory and fairer, both within the university and outside of it” or “build through concrete tools and theoretical support, a balanced view of the contributions of feminisms in the discipline” as well as “find the route to install this view in students, so that the creative space is protected.”

Based on these observations, an interest in transmitting stereotype-free, non-discriminatory teaching in the classroom was identified, developing safe learning spaces with theoretical support. As a complement, a survey aimed at teachers allowed to identify the topics in which they would like to have more training, among which are mainly; Gender stereotypes and implicit biases in teaching; Non-sexist or inclusive language in the classroom; and Introduction to the gender approach.

UC Academic Vice Chancellor Fernando Purcell, who has promoted and supported advances in equity, valued the diagnosis as a way to deliver relevant knowledge. “It is very important to advance in terms of gender equality from the educational point of view, to learn to look and observe from that perspective. This will allow progress in implicit biases and other matters, generating better conditions and equal opportunities, all of which should be part of our educational project “.

Comments are closed.