Sir: With concern I have heard the statements of the Rector of the Universidad de O’Higgins, Dr. Rafael Correa, Monday, January 7 in the Committee on women and equality of gender of the Chamber of Deputies, with respect to the non-renewal of contracts of the DRA. NIA Figueroa and Dr. Karina Bravo. A situation that occurs as a result of performance analyses carried out by the same directors that Bravo. denounced by labor harassment months ago, research summary in which Dr. Figueroa gave his testimony.
Mr Correa argued that its decision was due to «lack of will ascend in the academic career» evidenced in the analysis of performance of both researchers. This statement is contradictory, since that, we are facing two biochemical who obtained his PhD in Neurosciences with highest distinction, have carried out internships abroad and participated in numerous national and international congresses they possess excellent teaching assessments, scientific publications and projects awarded with public funds in current execution. Both also have a heavy agenda of scientific dissemination activities, i.e., meeting all the criteria expected of comprehensive academic as this could reflect a lack of will to pursue a successful academic career?
Although persists the belief that academic institutions are meritocratic and fair, cases such as the one of the Dras. Bravo and Figueroa remind us that this is not always true for women. There is evidence that explains that the low presence of researchers in some institutions of higher education is due to cumulative effects of harsh working environments, biases of evaluation that reflect gender stereotypes and structures institutional that put at a disadvantage to women in the academic world.
Not for me to judge the decisions taking O’Higgins University regarding their academic (as), however, as a woman, a University that respects women, academic member of several committees of rating and a member of the jury International Program For women in Science L’ Oréal Unesco, is my duty alert to a situation that requires a thorough investigation, because it affects the career of two young researchers who have much to contribute to the country.
Gloria Montenegro Rizzardini Botany
Professor holder of the Faculty of Agronomy and forestry engineering, Pontificia Universidad
incumbent member of the third World Academy of Sciences
member holder of the Academy of Sciences Latin American member of the Chilean Academy of agricultural sciences
first winning Latin American of the prize international For Woman In Science L’ Oréal Unesco 1998 and member of the international jury