Programs only for women
Question No. 1: Is the University of Warsaw withdrawing from participation in all programs intended only for women in connection with the We Are All Equal campaign?
Answer: Actions aimed at equality and diversity result from the diagnosis that we are currently dealing with inequalities, including at the university.
Research conducted on equality at the University of Warsaw as well as other research conducted in the higher education sector shows that women’s chances for scientific careers are limited compared to men’s. This is reflected in statistics – as far as the proportions of female PhD and male PhD students are even, there are fewer and fewer women at the next stages of scientific careers.
Women who work scientifically point to the different types of adversities they experience: difficulties in combining scientific work (which is intense, actually never ends, requires different types of trips, including longer trips) with family life. Many women involved in science decide to have children after defending their doctorate. Combining this type of family life with the requirements of rapid scientific achievements, trips to postdocs or many high-quality publications is a big challenge.
At the same time, their scientific careers are slowed down or decisions to interrupt their scientific careers are done to the detriment of and loss of science – because people whose achievements could enrich it greatly drop out.
Other barriers that women face in science include:
– difficulties in establishing scientific contacts, resulting partly from unauthorized generalizations, (“why to invest in a woman, she will get pregnant soon”)
– communication styles prevailing in a given field, e.g. a more confrontational style of presenting and defending results. Women in the course of socialization are discouraged from the confrontational style of argument – they are told that they are aggressive, not e.g. self-confident.
– individual beliefs of women that ” they are still not good enough” to apply for larger grants, submit publications in higher-rated journals, etc. This is so-called “impostor syndrome”
Therefore, starting from the diagnosis of existing gender inequalities, various initiatives are undertaken to strengthen women’s scientific careers.
Caring for an even atmosphere at work and an indication that more equality is simply science better quality is a recommendation contained in the European Charter for Researchers, which is also guided by the University of Warsaw.
Dr hab. Julia Kubisa