Maria Cecilia Hidalgo (1941) national prize of natural sciences

Maria Cecilia Hidalgo (1941) national prize of natural sciences

"I was in my first year of College, at age 18, and belonged to the Catholic action and had a big conflict: a priest, who was my spiritual guide, told me I had to choose between being a mother and a family or be scientific, that two things were not possible." We had a tremendous fight and, finally, I retired from the group. I later left the Catholic religion.

In the 1960s were expected of us that we married, we had children, we left at home and sight them.

However, 10 years ago, I had one of the most sexist experiences I have lived. I was in the Evaluation Committee and with a colleague we evaluated to academics from the Faculty of medicine. We evaluated someone who had a race, more or less, and she said: 'Yes, if filled with children'. And I said: 'I do not agree with this approach, I have four children and I have made a reasonable career'. And she replied: 'Alas, poor children, how are perhaps'. It was a brutal, sexist aggression, and came from a woman.

Many men have told me in the workplace: 'I'm afraid, you're a very intelligent woman'. Do not think to tell a man you give me afraid because you are very intelligent.

Spent 10 years studying in United States with three young children. I remember that a Japanese teacher of the postdoctoral fellow told me that even though I was running at 10 and went to the 5, because I had to go get the afterschool children, it was much more productive than those who lived in the laboratory and would be late.

At the University of Chile, I developed a study on wage differences between men and women. We found a 20% difference in the academic and 15% among administrative staff. That was in 2014 and still not resolved; the University has to be punished for this. If we stay calm and not raise it as a serious problem, we spend 100 years more equal. But if we keep saying that this is unacceptable, it is possible that we can get that in 10 years is resolved. "It is a fight that we must give us".

Pablo Sanhueza