University of São Paulo: Issue shows actions to promote diversity and inclusion in science in São Paulo

The expansion of gender diversity in science and the impact of quotas on public universities are themes of the new issue of Diversity and Inclusion , the eighth of ten that will make up the commemorative book FAPESP 60 years – Science, Culture and Development . The publication available online is a way of showing the achievements of the foundation related to the State policy for the scientific and technological development of São Paulo.

The book shows how the advancement of female participation in science in São Paulo has been favored by a series of measures adopted by Fapesp in recent years – such as, for example, the inclusion in the curriculum summary of information on possible career interruptions due to maternity leave or paternity – and the foundation’s support for the development of research projects related to gender issues. In just over two decades, Fapesp granted 211 grants and grants to 170 researchers dedicated to the study of topics such as gender equality, sexuality and violence against women.

In addition, the success rate in approving research projects by the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Fapesp) is practically the same for men (41%) and women (38%), although there are variations between areas of the knowledge. Between 2000 and 2016, female participation grew from 36% to 42% among researchers responsible for submitted projects, also with variations by area: 25% in engineering and 56% in health sciences, according to data from the Management of Studies and Foundation indicators.

Expanding access to higher education

The issue also analyzes the impact of quotas on public universities, which opened up opportunities for access to higher education for black and brown people, equating their effective participation in the total Brazilian population. This turnaround is the result of intense political work by multiple agents, of the universities’ commitment to so-called affirmative actions and also of research, several of them supported by Fapesp, which subsidized public policies.

Cover of issue number 8 – Photo: Reproduction / Fapesp
One of these surveys compared the performance of 1 million students in the National Student Performance Exam (Enade) between 2012 and 2014 and concluded that the performance of graduates who entered higher education via affirmative action equals or exceeds that of young people who arrived at institutions higher education by the so-called broad competition.

The material also addresses the issue of diversity in the construction of knowledge. In public universities in the State of São Paulo, several initiatives have been adopted to encourage the entry of indigenous people and people with disabilities, among others. But that’s not all: the great challenge is to enable them to remain in the system and continue with their academic life. That’s where scientific initiation, master’s and doctoral scholarships come in, which encourage young people to continue studying and enter the research universe.

The 8th issue of the book also contains two articles: A violência minha de cada dia , signed by Eunice Aparecida de Jesus Prudente, from the Faculty of Law at USP; and Research and Inclusion of Indigenous Peoples , by Gersem Baniwa, from the Federal University of Amazonas (Ufam).

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