Construyendo la excelencia académica: un análisis del impacto de género en la evaluación de la transferencia del conocimiento

Autor principal:
Olga Salido Cortés
MARÍA BUSTELO RUESTA (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

This paper is aimed at examining the role played by the design and implementation of higher education policies, and concretely of knowledge transfer (KT) policies in Spain, as an instrument to gender equality advance. Although formal equality between women and men in the evaluation of academic merit seems undisputed, growing empirical evidence points to the existence of implicit discrimination and unconscious gender biases in science, conditioning promotion and career opportunities, including women’s self-exclusion in competition. Likewise, the persistence of different gender and organizational cultures –particularly reinforced by the segmentation of men and women in different knowledge areas, turns equality a harder goal to achieve, at least in real terms. The definition of what to evaluate, with which objectives and by which instruments appear as key issues that may help disentangle the way in which these biases operate and how they contribute (or not) to the reproduction of gender inequality in academia.

In 2018, the Spanish Government decided to implement a new policy, the Knowledge Transfer Sexenium, aimed at making of KT a central element of the evaluation of merit for academics. In this paper we analyze this first pilot knowledge transfer (KT) call and its gender impact considering the whole process, from the policy definition and implementation to its results. To do this, we first analyse how KT have been defined and operationalized for being measured in this call (What it is considered, and what not, KT in the different areas?). Second, we analyze the whole dataset of the applications submitted to the Call of Knowledge Transfer Sexenium (17,000 applications). The analysis of these applications, as well as their success rates (with an average gender gap of 13 percentage points against women), across different areas and fields offer an opportunity to identify the potential impact of different measures  on the mitigation or reproduction of   gender biases in scientific and academic careers.

Above all, the main objective of the paper is to enhance a global reflection on the role of universities as institutions of production and transmission of knowledge, as well as their necessary leadership in the transformation of society to make it more sustainable, equitable and dynamic. How these processes are indeed gendered, and how they can be revisited from a gender perspective to aim at more just and real transformation is the focus of this paper.

Palabras clave: Igualdad de género, transferencia de conocimiento, evaluación académica