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Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências

Print version ISSN 0001-3765On-line version ISSN 1678-2690

An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. vol.93 no.1 Rio de Janeiro  2021  Epub Feb 22, 2021

https://doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765202120201370 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

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

1Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Department, Biosciences Institute, Bento Gonçalves 9500, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

2State University of Rio de Janeiro, Department of Ecology, São Francisco Xavier, 524, 20550-013 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

3Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Management School, Washington Luiz 855, 90010-460 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

4Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Interdisciplinary Department, RS 030, Km 11700, 95590-000 Tramandaí, RS, Brazil

5Fluminense Federal University, Biomedical Institute, Prof Hernani Melo, 101, 24210-130 Niterói, RJ, Brazil

6Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology, Biotechnology Center, Bento Gonçalves, 9500, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

7Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Botanic Department, Biosciences Institute, Bento Gonçalves, 9500, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

8Federal University of Pampa/UNIPAMPA, BR 472, Km 585, 97501-970 Uruguaiana, RS, Brazil

9Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul & Medical Genetics Service, Genetic Department, Biosciences Institute, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Ramiro Barcelos 2350, 90035-007 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

10National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA), Biodiversity Coordination, André Araújo 2.936, 69067-375 Manaus, AM, Brazil

11Federal University of Juiz de Fora/UFJF, Physics Department, Via Local 880, 36036-900 Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil

12Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing, Graduate Program in Management, Guilherme Schell 350, 04018-010 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

13Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Mathematics and Statistics Institute, Bento Gonçalves 9500, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

14Paraíba State University, Cel. Pedro Targino, s/n, 58233-000 Araruna, PB, Brazil

15Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre, Pharmacoscience Department, Sarmento Leite 245, 90050-170 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil


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 2017). This scenario is also observed in Brazil (Barros & Mourão 2020, Areas et al. 2020). Many factors can contribute to the observed gender gap in science, but maternity is certainly playing an important role (Sallee et al. 2016). 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. 2019). 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 2010). 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 2019). 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. 2020), as childcare is mostly under the responsibility of these women (Staniscuaski et al. 2020a). 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. 2020b).

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. [ Links ]

BARROS SCV & MOURÃO L. 2020. Gender and Science: An analysis of Brazilian postgraduation. Estudos de Psicologia 37: e180108. [ Links ]

CNPQ. 2019. CNPq inclui data de nascimento ou adoção de filhos no Currículo Lattes. Available at: http://bit.ly/2ZhqNvo. [ Links ]

LANE J. 2010. Let’s make science metrics more scientific. Nature 464(7288): 488-489. [ Links ]

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. [ Links ]

MYERS KL ET AL. 2020. Unequal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on scientists. Nat Hum Behav: DOI 10.1038/s41562-020-0921-y. [ Links ]

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. [ Links ]

SHAUMAN KA. 2017. Gender differences in the early employment outcomes of STEM doctorates. Soc Sci 6(1): 24. [ Links ]

STANISCUASKI F ET AL. 2020a. Impact of Covid-19 on academic mothers. Science 368: 724. [ Links ]

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. [ Links ]

Received: August 28, 2020; Accepted: October 12, 2020

Correspondence to: Fernanda Staniscuaski E-mail: fernanda.staniscuaski@ufrgs.br

AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS

All authors contributed to the intellectual conception, writing and preparation of the letter.

Creative Commons License This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License