The AUGAC conference closes with a warning on gender stereotypes in universities

 

Between 7th and 8th November, the Universitat de València hosted the conference of the Asociación de Profesionales de Gabinetes de Comunicación de las Universidades Españolas, públicas y privadas (AUGAC) under the slogan ‘Nuevos escenarios para la comunicación universitaria, metamorfosis digital y revolución feminista’ (New scenarios for university communication, digital metamorphosis and feminist revolution). For two days, fifty professionals from the communication departments of Spanish universities met in Valencia. More information here.

Ana Jesús López Díaz, director of the Oficina para a Igualdade de Xénero (Equality Unit) and president of AMIT-Gal, the Galician node of the Asociación de Mujeres Investigadoras y Tecnólogas (Women Association of Researchers and Technologists), warned about the gender stereotypes existing in the Academy: “Universities also continue to perpetuate gender stereotypes”.

The specialist, who holds a PhD in Physics and is a Reader in the area of Mechanical Engineering, has explained that the number of female students exceeds the number of male students: females represent 54% of the Spanish Universities, however, only the 21% go on to become professors. As she explained, the glass ceiling is also reflected in horizontal segregation: “In technical careers the percentage of women in the Spanish Universities does not exceed 25%.” With the eloquence of these numbers, the director of the Oficina para a Igualdade de Xénero (Equality Unit) of A Coruña has encouraged action: “It is necessary for women to be integrated into teaching and dissemination because without their presence we are producing less and worse science” and she also highlighted that the argument of less female presence in the classrooms is outdated since they are majority since the mid-80s with the beginning of the democratic university.

The conference, with the collaboration of the tourism departments of Valencia City Council and the Diputació de València (Valencia Provincial Council), was attended by university lecturers, journalists from different institutions and media managers, who analysed where communication is heading in the front of the phenomenon of digitisation with the limits and implications it entails. In this line and during this second day, John Ospina, Professor at the University of Guadalajara (Mexico) has conducted a workshop on the production of transmedia content.  

In addition, during the conferences, feminist revolution and  gender perspective were discussed at the universities, and has developed the AUGAC Assembly, where the Directive Board has expressed its intention to strengthen institutional relations with both CRUE - Spanish Universities as well as the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, to deploy communication actions that transcend the activity of each of the associated entities and project the image of AUGAC to society as a whole. 

The Principal of the Universitat de València, Maria Vicenta Mestre, one of the eight Principals who direct Spanish universities, closed the conference, which is being held for the first time in Valencia. During her speech, she thanked the AUGAC for selecting the Universitat to hold their conferences in a very special year as the academic institution commemorates 520 years of its creation and the 20th anniversary of the rehabilitation of its historic headquarters, La Nau, also for cultural use. 

About AUGAC

AUGAC is the Asociación de Profesionales de Gabinetes de Comunicación de las Universidades Españolas, públicas y privadas, y Centros de Investigación (Association of Communication Departments Professionals of Spanish public and private Universities and Research Centres).  The origins of the association go back to a conference on Media and Communication, held at the Universitat de les Illes Balears (University of the Balearic Islands) in 1985, the year when AUGAC was founded. These conferences have been followed up, each year, in different training meetings.

AUGAC brings together professionals who develop their activity in services or areas of institutional communication and press offices of Spanish universities and research centres. Its purpose is to project university, cultural and scientific-technological issues towards society through the use of all existing disciplines and communication channels.  One of its most important goals is to ensure that the professional practice of its members is carried out in conditions of independence and objectivity, since its mission is to transmit, with transparency, university activities to the surrounding social environment.  

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