The CABD Gender Equality Commission

Gender inequality globally affects both social and workplace spheres. In this sense, the difficulties that we face as women are diverse, ranging from lack of access to education in some places in the world to lower salaries for the same job in other cases, and include the well-known glass ceiling that, globally speaking, prevents women from accessing positions of maximum responsibility in our professional careers. The available statistics tell us of a very clear gender gap in professional academic and research careers, particularly in those involving experimental work. In the case of the Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology (CABD), a joint research centre of the CSIC, Pablo de Olavide University and the Junta de Andalucía (regional government), women represent approximately 78% of the administrative and technical personnel, 65% of the pre-doctoral staff, 48% of the post-doctoral and 15% of all principal investigators. The reasons for this are not, patently, due to the lack of skills nor potential by women, but rather of a diverse nature, ranging from social and cultural to personal issues, and include institutional obstacles as well as, notably, the very design of the scientific career. Alarmingly, as one advances through it, there is a disproportionate number of women who leave this professional career path.

Given this reality, we believe that it is necessary not only to make this problem visible, but also to establish a space for reflection and local action where all the intervening actors can participate in the construction of a new, more just and egalitarian reality.

Colleagues at the EBD of Seville, CEAB in Blanes, the ICM and at the IBE in Barcelona are following a process like ours, and we have initiated contacts to work as a network. Likewise, this Gender Commission will work in permanent contact and in coordination with the Office for Equality at the Pablo de Olavide University, to which the CABD is associated.

We set out our three main goals as follows:

  • Identify the problems that affect our centre in terms of gender inequality.
  • Communicate the general situation of women in science, as well as in our research centre.
  • Propose and promote actions aimed at obtaining better conditions for the women who work in this centre, with the goal of turning it into a reference in equality at a national and international levels.