Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: Promote the development of women in the university

“Universities must be spaces of full growth and development for women, in all areas and tasks that they perform. Society and especially institutions are enriched by the contribution of teachers, students, professional and administrative staff in all areas of the university. His work acts as a model and guide, influences young people and represents an example to follow. The respect, care and appreciation of women must include policies to promote their development.

For years at UC we have been concerned to make progress on this issue. Already in 2013 we exposed the subject in opinion columns, and started the Women and Academy program, with proposals made to support the promotion of female professors at the university. We have made explicit the academic career of women and men with equal merits, with an equal remuneration and academic retirement policy. We are aware of the difficulties in academic progression – with a percentage of female tenured teachers close to 20% – so positive support measures must be developed for female teachers.

In the context of the social movement of a few years ago, the Women and Academy Commission II presented measures to promote gender equality. Periodic measurement mechanisms were agreed to allow the monitoring and impact of the measures to be implemented. The most important aspects have been an increase in the proportion of women in the ordinary and special plant, ensuring equitable processes in the selection in the assistant category; the promotion of gender equality in the election of authorities, the improvement of the processes to ensure the development of the academic career of women, within them an innovative mentoring program.

“Society and especially institutions are enriched by the contribution of teachers, students, professional and administrative staff in all areas of the university. Their work acts as a model and guide, influences young people and represents an example to follow. The respect, care and appreciation of women must include policies to promote their development “- Rector Ignacio Sánchez.

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Along with the above, it was agreed to integrate the concepts of equal opportunities between women and men in the graduation profile; promote actions to reconcile work, family and personal life; promote the participation of academics in seminars, forums and other university activities and the creation of a gender equity observatory.

For two years now, there has been a gender equality department, with the aim of promoting and implementing these policies. Among its main achievements are the implementation of gender equity training programs in the university community; measures of greater equity in academic selection and incorporation, facilitating support to reconcile academic and family life. Among the challenges of the coming years are to advance in an inclusive language within the RAE norms; promote gender equity measures generated by the pandemic and follow-up of the measures described.

In the field of students, we have the collaboration of student leaders. For years, we have taken special care for education, prevention and sanctions when appropriate, in all aspects related to violence and sexual abuse in our institution. In terms of diversity and the expansion of opportunities, at UC there is an increase in enrollment in women, which exceeds 56%. More than 30% of students in careers such as Engineering stand out, as a result of various education and dissemination actions. The program was implemented that enables mothers with children up to 2 years of age to take a reduced load of credits associated with a partial fee, and a higher priority for the enrollment of courses. Work has been done on curricular content on gender issues, the program for mothers and fathers was reinforced, aimed at greater well-being in nurseries and other benefits. Currently, the application for the delivery of titles according to gender, in the corresponding careers, is being analyzed.

“Two years ago there has been a gender equality department, with the aim of promoting and implementing these policies. Among its main achievements, there are the implementation of gender equality training programs in the university community; measures of greater equity in selection and academic incorporation, facilitating accompaniment to reconcile academic and family life “- Rector Ignacio Sánchez.

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In the professional and administrative area, the UC entrance competitions do not show a salary difference between women and men and the retirement age is similar. Prior to the pandemic, the “After school” program was supported for children, there is an increase in the number of women who make use of part-time work and in the last three years, there has been a sustained increase in women holding positions leadership, both in academic and administrative tasks. The main areas to work on are respect for working hours, highlighting the importance of digital disconnection, -especially during the pandemic-; expanding leadership programs; support for the care of minor children; progress in the study of teleworking, among others.

Thus, despite the significant achievements we have made, we have several areas in which we must advance. The joint work of the university community is key to promoting working and academic conditions that benefit our teachers, students, workers, professionals and administrative staff. The commitment of women in the university should be valued, who have delivered their work with great quality. In this way, it contributes to the development and growth of the institution, higher education and the country. Women play a key role in the development of our university and of the entire higher education system ”.

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