Chile establishes newest National Chapter of OWSD
May 25, 2022
The 49th National Chapter of OWSD was established in Chile, in May 2022. The Chile National Chapter is the 13th in the Latin America and Caribbean region, all established since 2019. It is hosted by the Corporación Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad in Santiago.
The first Executive Committee of the National Chapter is formed by:
Chair: Maria Alejandra Troncoso Joffré, Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad, Universidad de La Serena
Vice-Chair: Karin Albornoz, Universidad de Concepción
Secretary: Cynthia Jara, Universidad Austral de Chile
Treasurer: Siegried Lillo, Independent researcher /consultant
Networking Coordinator: Priscilla Nowajewski-Barra, Fundación Ciencias Planetarias/ALMA
Career Development and Apprenticeship Coordinator: Natalia Pilar Aránguiz Ibarra, Independent researcher /consultant
"Institutional strength and a stable democracy have given Chile relative advantages in the Latin American and the Caribbean region. Yet, gender gaps are prevailing in economic and science indicators," said the National Chapter's Executive Committee. "Based on data from the Chilean Ministry of Science, only 30% of women graduated from STEM majors between 2009-2017. After college, retention of women through academic ranks decreases. Underrepresentation of women in STEM is a global trend observed in both public and private sectors. This can be also evidenced by the low rate of science grants (Fondecyt) awarded to women (368) by the National Agency forScience and Development (ANID) in 2019, in comparison to men (797). The lack of role models is one of the contributing factors for female students not considering a career in science. Promoting the visibility of women with STEM qualifications is then fundamental, and having a Chilean National Chapter of OWSD can contribute to shortening this gap. Moreover, collective processes are scarce among Chilean women scientists; therefore, we aim at building a community in which members can benefit in their careers from access to mentorship and relevant information, while also nurturing generations of younger scientists. Promoting networking and mentoring has proven to be helpful in assisting women to occupy leadership positions in science and academia. OWSD Chile NC is expected to enable interactions in these aspects."
The Chile National Chapter has planned its activities around the two main objectives of community building and networking, and increasing visibility of role models of women in science for girls and adolescents. Under the former category, these activities will include organizing open local meetings, walks and talks in local parks and museums, as well as meetings about ‘hot topics’ in science where women in science will be invited to present their opinions; under the latter, it includes recognizing recognition local women who have influenced people to go into science, as well as organizing a women's science academy and summer science camps for girls.
At the time of establishment, OWSD had 40 members in the Chile National Chapter. Women scientists from or living in Chile who are not already members of OWSD can become members here. Members who are interested in joining the National Chapter are invited to contact owsdchile [at] gmail.com.