Doctors Cristina Avendaño and Pilar Garrido from FACME: “There is less visibility of women scientists and this requires an additional effort to give us that first opportunity”

On the occasion of World Day of Women and Girls in Science, the Illustrious Official College of Physicians of Madrid interviews doctors Cristina Avendaño, vice president of the Federation of Spanish Medical Scientific Associations (FACME), and Pilar Garrido, former president of the federation, to give visibility to the scientific work carried out by women

  • What message would you like to give on this February 11?

That half of the talent cannot be lost and that we have to pursue our dreams.

  • Why do you think we are in this situation of inequality?

We believe that the reasons are multiple. We would highlight, first of all, that there is less visibility of women scientists and this requires an additional effort to give us that first opportunity. Secondly, unconscious gender biases, which are more difficult to combat.
We are sure that it is not a matter of time or that women have less interest in our professional development compared to men. There are very few female doctors in leadership positions in any field of science. However, the presence of women in low-responsibility positions continues to be much higher than that of men.

  • What is being done at FACME to change this reality?

FACME has led a project, called ‘Women in Medicine in Spain (WOMEDS)’, which analyzes the leadership positions of women in the medical profession in all facets: healthcare, associative, research and academic. Furthermore, the data obtained is disaggregated by specialty.
To prepare the study, public data and data requested from the Autonomous Communities, Scientific Societies, universities and the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) have been collected.

  • Are you planning to continue working to raise awareness about the gender gap between women doctors and scientists?

The WOMEDS project has a future vocation, which is a tool to observe and make visible the data obtained. To do this, we will request and analyze the same data every year and make it public on the website that we are finishing.