Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2000 14:38:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject: CSWA Newsletter of 7/12/2000

            AAS Committee on the Status of Women
    weekly issues of  7/12/2000, ed. by Priscilla Benson
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This week's issues:
1. URL for Thaller article
2. NSF funding for women
3. Jobs for Women
1. URL for Thaller article

Sorry, it's hard to transmit this URL without error because 
it is too long! In last week's AASWOMEN, I recommended an 
article by Michelle Thaller in the Christian Science 
Monitor. The listed url was actually correct but was broken 
into two lines, and the hyphen was part of the address. 
Let's try again (should all be on one line, but broken here 
for clarity):

Meg Urry

2. NSF Funding for Women

I just wanted to set the record straight on the NSF funding 
mentioned in last week's CSWA newsletter.

The President requested an increase of $8 million dollars 
over FY2000 levels for the ADVANCE program, which increases
the participation and advancement of women in all fields of 
science and engineering.  The total requested amount for 
FY2001 is $20.2 million.

Note that this is only the requested funding level.  
Although the House of Representatives has passed the VA-HUD-
IA appropraitions bill, the funding breakout for the NSF is 
not currently available with enough detail to determine if 
the ADVANCE program will receive its full requested amount 
for FY 2001.   Congress has not yet "funded" efforts for FY 
2001 to improve participation in science and engineering by 

It is up to supporters of the program to contact their 
senators and Representatives to point out the benefits of 
this program and request full funding at the President's 
requested level.  The Senate should begin discussion of the 
VA-HUD-IA bill either in late July or early September.  Once 
the Senate has passed their version of the bill, it will be 
conferenced with the House version and differences 
reconciled.  Contact with Congress is still important at 
this late date.

Remember, however, that regular contact with your own 
Representative WHEN NOTHING CRITICAL IS GOING ON is the best 
way to voice your concerns on broader issues, such as 
increasing the participation of women in science and 
engineering.  It is our civic responsibility to regularly
communicate our concerns, values and needs to members of 
Congress. Without this input, they don't know there are any 
problems out there.  Do not forget this simple fact.

If you need help or advice on contacting Congress, check out 
the AAS public policy web pages or contact me directly.

Kevin Marvel

3.  Jobs for Women

Dear Editor,

Thank you to Alycia Weinberger for her contribution
in the 5 June AASWomen.

I was wondering, how many of the offers to women for various
jobs were made to the same woman?

My impression is that in any given search, there are one or
two women that everyone wants and these women get many
offers. Thus, many offers to women are declined. The next 
offer is usually made to a man. This alone could skew the 
job offers number to seem like a higher number of women
than actually do, have opportunities.

Unfortunately, a lot of departments who have hired a woman
in a particular search, won't offer the next job to a woman 
because they figure they've done their "duty" to to hire a 
woman. They will often include one or more women on their 
"short lists" as tokens. This is an easy thing for them
to do and helps keep them in compliance with the law. (Note
that it is possible for a department to never actually hire 
a woman and still win a discrimination lawsuit.) Departments 
will say they want to hire a woman, but mean it only if 
she's a superstar woman. Their standards for men are lower.

I can't say much for the reliability of the rumor mill page. 
I am confident of my impressions though, as they are formed 
by years of conversations with department chairs, 
observatory directors, other search committee members and 
job candidates. I have personally witnessed sexual 
harassment, flagrantly sexist job searches, as well as 
retaliation against those who have challenged these 
procedures. Most in the astronomical world are sophisticated 
enough to hide the attitudes that I have seen overtly 
expressed. That behavior is on the tail of the bell curve. 
Under the peak are similar attitudes expressed subtly.

To be sure, opportunities for women are improving.  But, 
while the numbers on the Rumor Mill page may look 
encouraging, pervasive bias does not dissipate in only a few 
years. Please, let's not become complacent because we see 
women getting jobs (or because we are so busy in our own 
job.) Sexism is still a drag on all our careers, whether
or not it is visible to each individual.

Respectfully Submitted,
Kathy Mead
End of CSWA Newsletter of 7/12/2000