Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 13:20:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: AASWOMEN for May 2, 2003

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Weekly issue of May 2, 2003
eds. Meg Urry, Patricia Knezek, & Michael Rupen

This week's issues:
1. Re-entering the career track: WIPHYS responses continued
2. Conference on Women In Astronomy: publicity; student/postdoc support
3. UK Strategy for Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology
4. IUPAP Funding for Women from Developing/Eastern European Countries

    Women in Astronomy II: Ten Years After
   Pasadena, California June 27 - 28, 2003
    >>Registration deadline: June 16<<

1. Re-entering the career track: WIPHYS responses continued
>From: WIPHYS Apr. 28, 2003

In response to posting of 4/25/03 -
> Surely it is inexcusably unfair that when a woman takes family
> leave, people merely frown, but when a man takes family leave,
> that's the end of his career. (A large fraction of the most recent
> generation have real fathers who take their parenting responsibilities
> seriously; but does anyone know of a man who has actually made
> use of the Federal Family Leave Act?).

Actually I do know someone who took family leave, and our
institution has been reasonably supportive. Both he and his wife
work here, and they split the three months' leave equally between
the two of them. At the moment they are also staggering their
working hours (he works 6am-4pm, she works 9am-6pm) to allow
more overlap with their child. It helps of course to be in a tiny
town and to work in an organization where having children is
considered normal, and even wonderful (!). Interestingly, both
people involved are in part science/part service jobs, which has both
pluses and minuses -- on the one hand, there's less "tenure
pressure"; on the other hand, there's more day-to-day pressure to
get the service work done.

I can also of course come up with multiple examples of fathers at
NRAO who did not take family leave, for whatever reasons. But at
least this one case proves the possibility, and sets a nice precedent
for future parents.

Michael Rupen
National Radio Astronomy Observatory

*******MESSAGE TWO *****

This re-entry discussion is very interesting. But there is also another
lesson emerging from the accounted examples: they are also proof
of the high creativity and flexibility of the women and of the poor
ability of the system to put their talents and competence to
efficient use for society! This is particularly true of the example
contributed by Martha Redi. The problem is that there just is no
decent career development plan and most representatives of the
physics establishment do not realize that they are assuming
responsibility for PEOPLE as well with their positions. Of course,
this is a problem for many male physicists, too, and a lot of their
talent and work force gets wasted, too. But it gets amplified
dramatically for women due to a multitude of factors that have
already been identified on the list (and get identified again and again
...). By business-economic standards, this would be just plain
ridiculous! Anyway, I am impressed by what women are able to
accomplish despite of it all :-)

Sybille Krummacher
Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH

2. Conference on Women In Astronomy: publicity; student/postdoc support

From: Meg Urry

Help publicize the Women in Astronomy II meeting at your institution
(and encourage your senior colleagues to attend) --- print out the colorful
meeting poster (see and post it at
your institution!


From: Liliya Williams

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, the WIAII has limited funds
available for students and postdocs who would like to attend but do not
have all the requisite funds. Since we expect the demand for financial
support to exceed our means, we encourage students and postdocs to send
us an application stating:

  1.Your expected costs and how much you are requesting.
  2.How much money your institution can provide (ideally, we would like your
     institution to provide matching support).
  3.A short proposal (not longer than 1 page) describing why you want to
     attend, and how you will disseminate the results of the conference in
     your home community.

The applications should be submitted as plain text email by May 20, 2003
(the official registration deadline is June 16, 2003), to .
The recipients of the funds will be selected and notified by May 27, 2003.

3. UK Strategy for Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology
>From: WIPHYS Apr. 30, 2003

The British Government has announced a new integrated approach
to tackling the problem of the under-representation of women in
science, engineering and technology (SET) in employment,
education and policy making in the United Kingdom.

The Government's new strategy is outlined in full in the report
published on 28 April 2003: 'A Strategy for Women in Science,
Engineering and Technology', which is available from the
Promoting SET for Women Unit's website at the following address:

The new strategy is the Government's reply to the Greenfield
report, 'SET Fair', which reviewed the current status of women's
participation in SET and was published in November 2002.
Promoting Set for Women Unit

Ann Marks, Honorary Secretary
Women in Physics Group
Institute of Physics
(Thanks to Cherrill Spencer for submitting this item!)

4. IUPAP Funding for Women from Developing/Eastern European Countries
>From: WIPHYS Apr. 28, 2003

The IUPAP working Group on Women in Physics is launching a second year of
the pilot program we had last year to fund the attendance of women from
developing and eastern European countries at international conferences
and schools this fall. We propose funding 25 women at a maximum cost of
$800 each. This would require $20,000.

We need to receive applications for these grants by June 1st, 2003.
Recipients will be chosen by the IUPAP Working Group on Women in Physics
in June, and we will notify people by July 15th, 2003. Only women
physicists from Eastern Europe or developing countries may apply. For
those applying for this grant we will need the following things:

  1.Your complete contact information
  2.What year you received your PHA (or your undergraduate degree
    for graduate students):
  3.A brief description of the conference or workshop you wish to
    attend (title, URL)
  4.A brief statement of how attending the conference or school will
    enhance your career
  5.A letter of recommendation from a senior colleague
  6.An item by item list of the amount of money (up to $800)
    required to attend. (Example: airfare - 400., lodging - 200, per diem
    - 200 local transportation, registration fee and food) as also
    specified in our webpage
Send all information to Jackie Beamon-Kiene,, by the end of
the day on June 1st, 2003.

We are excited about being able to offer a second year of conference
scholarships and hope that it will benefit women in physics.

Best regards,
Judy Franz and Marcia Barbosa