The director of Postgraduate Studies at the Universidad Católica del Maule, Karina Vilches, called for the promotion of gender equity in academia, during the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
«If we do not encourage girls to pursue scientific careers, we are harming ourselves as humanity because of the bias that occurs due to the lack of breadth and vision in development teams.» In this way, the director of Postgraduate Studies of the Universidad Católica del Maule (UCM), Karina Vilches, called on the academy to promote gender equity, during the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which the United Nations commemorates every February 11.
Vilches, who holds a PhD in Engineering Sciences, emphasized that the future will require more women in STEM, beyond the 30% they currently represent. «The ILO and the UN in their studies on the future of work project that 75% of jobs will have a strong scientific, research, computational and mathematical base by 2050, regardless of the field,» she said.
The academic added that the lack of policies that encourage the participation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can perpetuate «circles of poverty for women, their descendants and their caregivers.»
«Biases in research occur,» she stressed, «when we propose a solution and do not visualize all the variables involved in the problem and therefore the solution is partial and biased. Considering that women make up 50% of humanity, we have a lot to contribute and say regarding the development of scientific solutions and the evolution of technology.»
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science was a celebration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 to break the gender gap in this area.
«Commemorating this date seems of utmost relevance to us considering the challenging moment we are living as an institution,» said the director of Gender Equity and Diversity at UCM, María Paula Poblete, whose unit implements a comprehensive policy against harassment, violence, and gender discrimination within the campus.
«We currently have a Gender Equity and Diversity Policy built through a participatory process with the community that considers the development of research and innovation from a gender perspective (…) as one of its commitments. In this way, the institution seeks to ensure gender equity in the development of basic and applied research and in the processes of innovation and technology transfer,» she said.
This year, the ephemeris focused on the role of women, girls, and science in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, such as access to clean water and clean energy, and the deployment of industry, innovation, infrastructure, and sustainable communities.