Maternity in the Brazilian CV Lattes: when will it become a reality?

FERNANDA STANISCUASKI EUGENIA ZANDONÀ FERNANDA REICHERT ROSSANA C. SOLETTI LETICIA DE OLIVEIRA FELIPE K. RICACHENEVSKY ALESSANDRA S.K. TAMAJUSUKU LIVIA KMETZSCH IDA V.D. SCHWARTZ FERNANDA P. WERNECK ZELIA M.C LUDWIG ELIADE F. LIMA CAMILA INFANGER ADRIANA NEUMANN ALESSANDRA BRANDÃO GIULIA A. WIGGERS ADRIANA SEIXAS PAMELA B. MELLO-CARPES About the authors

Despite the increasing attention on the causes generating the observed gender gap in science and the efforts in resolving it, women are still underrepresented in academia, especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields (Shauman 2017SHAUMAN KA. 2017. Gender differences in the early employment outcomes of STEM doctorates. Soc Sci 6(1): 24.). This scenario is also observed in Brazil (Barros & Mourão 2020BARROS SCV & MOURÃO L. 2020. Gender and Science: An analysis of Brazilian postgraduation. Estudos de Psicologia 37: e180108., Areas et al. 2020AREAS R ET AL. 2020. Gender and the Scissors Graph of Brazilian Science: From Equality to Invisibility. OSF Preprints. DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/m6eb4.). Many factors can contribute to the observed gender gap in science, but maternity is certainly playing an important role (Sallee et al. 2016SALLEE M, WARD K & WOLF-WENDEL L. 2016. Can anyone have it all? gendered views on parenting and academic careers. Innov High Educ 41: 187-202.). Maternity leave, which in Brazil ranges from four to six months, often leads to a decrease in productivity, affecting women competitiveness for a few years after the birth of a child (Machado et al. 2019MACHADO LS ET AL. 2019. Parent in science: The impact of parenthood on the scientific career in Brazil. Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Gender Equality in Software Engineering: 37-40.). For this reason, funding agencies and universities should consider maternity leave as a career break and create strategies to circumvent its negative effect in the evaluations of researchers’ productivity.

The Brazilian Lattes CV database (http://lattes.cnpq.br) is a successful model of scientific databases (Lane 2010LANE J. 2010. Let’s make science metrics more scientific. Nature 464(7288): 488-489.). The Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) created the database to quantify academic productivity - it is the main source to evaluate researchers for promotions and grant funding. In May 2018, the Parent in Science Movement (https://www.parentinscience.com) organized the I Brazilian Symposium on Maternity & Science, which discussed the challenges of being a mother in the Brazilian academy. During the symposium, solutions to reduce the gender disparities were discussed and participants proposed the hashtag #maternidadenoLattes (maternity in Lattes) to promote the inclusion of maternity information in the Lattes CV database. Evaluation of the motherhood penalty will be greatly improved once this field is available, increasing our capacity to quantify and hence to mitigate its effects in the Brazilian academic world.

The #maternidadenoLattes movement, together with a letter signed by different Brazilian scientific societies in June 2018, gained momentum in the social networks and in the mainstream media. In March 2019, CNPq officially announced that scientists, both men and women, could facultatively include the date of birth (or adoption) of their children in the Lattes CV database (CNPq 2019CNPQ. 2019. CNPq inclui data de nascimento ou adoção de filhos no Currículo Lattes. Available at: http://bit.ly/2ZhqNvo.
http://bit.ly/2ZhqNvo...
). Unfortunately, more than a year after the announcement, CNPq has still not implemented the promised change.

Right now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists who are mothers have experienced, more than ever, difficulties working from home and maintaining their productivity (Myers et al. 2020MYERS KL ET AL. 2020. Unequal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on scientists. Nat Hum Behav: DOI 10.1038/s41562-020-0921-y.), as childcare is mostly under the responsibility of these women (Staniscuaski et al. 2020aSTANISCUASKI F ET AL. 2020a. Impact of Covid-19 on academic mothers. Science 368: 724.). Data collected in a survey by our group showed that female academics, especially Black women and mothers, are experiencing difficulties to submit papers as planned and to meet deadlines during the pandemic period (Staniscuaski et al. 2020bSTANISCUASKI F ET AL. 2020b. Gender, race and parenthood impact academic productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic: from survey to action. BioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.04.187583.).

Public policies with the objective to mitigate the motherhood penalty in science, such as childcare at the workplace and project and fellowship extensions, are thus pressing. In this scenario, setbacks are unacceptable. Therefore, it is essential that CNPq, the main Brazilian research funding agency, urgently creates the field to include data regarding maternity in the Lattes CV database. This cannot be yet another broken promise.

REFERENCES

  • AREAS R ET AL. 2020. Gender and the Scissors Graph of Brazilian Science: From Equality to Invisibility. OSF Preprints. DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/m6eb4.
  • BARROS SCV & MOURÃO L. 2020. Gender and Science: An analysis of Brazilian postgraduation. Estudos de Psicologia 37: e180108.
  • CNPQ. 2019. CNPq inclui data de nascimento ou adoção de filhos no Currículo Lattes. Available at: http://bit.ly/2ZhqNvo
    » http://bit.ly/2ZhqNvo
  • LANE J. 2010. Let’s make science metrics more scientific. Nature 464(7288): 488-489.
  • MACHADO LS ET AL. 2019. Parent in science: The impact of parenthood on the scientific career in Brazil. Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Gender Equality in Software Engineering: 37-40.
  • MYERS KL ET AL. 2020. Unequal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on scientists. Nat Hum Behav: DOI 10.1038/s41562-020-0921-y.
  • SALLEE M, WARD K & WOLF-WENDEL L. 2016. Can anyone have it all? gendered views on parenting and academic careers. Innov High Educ 41: 187-202.
  • SHAUMAN KA. 2017. Gender differences in the early employment outcomes of STEM doctorates. Soc Sci 6(1): 24.
  • STANISCUASKI F ET AL. 2020a. Impact of Covid-19 on academic mothers. Science 368: 724.
  • STANISCUASKI F ET AL. 2020b. Gender, race and parenthood impact academic productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic: from survey to action. BioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.04.187583.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    22 Feb 2021
  • Date of issue
    2021

History

  • Received
    28 Aug 2020
  • Accepted
    12 Oct 2020
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