Gender parity in the leadership of Mexican universities

Gender parity in the leadership of Mexican universities

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Gender parity in the leadership of Mexican universities

On August 18, the National Council of the National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education AC (Anuies) awarded the 2021 award to the rector of the Veracruzana University (UV), Sara Ladrón de Guevara.

According to the official communication of Anuies in this regard, the rector of the UV obtained the distinction in the category “Professional trajectory and contribution to the development of higher education” among 16 applications, which were voted in an ordinary session of the General Council of the Association. This distinction makes women academics and researchers in the country proud and those who hold managerial positions in their respective houses of study. However, there is still a long way to go to achieve gender parity in the leadership of Mexican HEIs.

Talking about gender parity is complex, not only for Mexico and Latin America, but also for the rest of the world; Proof of this is that according to the Times Higher Education ranking, only 17 percent of 200 of the best world universities are led by women (United States, England, Germany, Australia, Canada, France and Spain). The director of Iesalc-Unesco Francesc Pedró, pointed out that active public policies are required that promote access to women to managerial positions and that educational institutions, and particularly universities, are an example to follow. Leadership in Mexico’s public and private universities continues, for the most part, in the hands of men despite higher female enrollment.

Currently, in Mexico there are seven directors and / or president of an IES: Dr. Cindy Rossina Saravia López, from the Autonomous University of Campeche (September 17, 2018 to October 11, 2019); Dr. Margarita Teresa de Jesús García Gasca, from the Autonomous University of Querétaro (2018-2021); Dr. Sylvia Paz Díaz Camacho, from the Autonomous University of the West (2017-2019); teacher Carmen B. López Portillo Romano, from the University of the Cloister of Sor Juana, AC (1998 to date); Dr. Ana Priscila Sosa Ferreira, from the Universidad del Caribe (2017-); Dr. María Guadalupe Ibarra Ceceña, from the Autonomous Intercultural University of Sinaloa (2017-2021); Dr. Silvia E. Giorguli Saucedo President of the Colegio de México (2015 to date) and Dr. Sara D. Ladrón de Guevara, from the Universidad Veracruzana (2013-2017 and 2017-2021).

The glass ceilings have increased with the covid-19 and the lack of strategies that strengthen female leadership has become visible and have shown the impact of stereotypes in physical and virtual spaces. The amazing thing about this is that in the 21st century we continue to talk about the invisibility of women in the university field.

However, we must also talk about the universities that are reinventing themselves despite the pandemic generated by the covid-19, an example of this is the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, an institution that, for the first time in its history, has the possibility of For a woman to be Rector of the highest house of studies, but this is not accidental, the BUAP had to prepare to reach this moment, first it opened spaces for university women to access more relevant managerial positions. Now we just have to wait for what the university students decide through their digital vote on September 20, 2021.

Angelica Mendieta