AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of March 18, 2005
eds. Patricia Knezek, Jim Ulvestad, & Lisa Frattare
 
This week's issues:

1. INAF Management Appointments

2. Women Who Have Left Physics Academia (continued)

3. Second IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics

4. How to submit, subscribe, or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN

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1. INAF Management Appointments
From: AASWOMEN editors

Several readers have contacted us regarding recent appointments by the
National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) in Italy.  INAF recently 
appointed two directors and an eight-person science advisory committee,
all men.  The colleagues who contacted us were concerned about the
fact that no women were appointed.  Unfortunately, we have been
unable to find any announcement about this issue on the INAF
web site, at 

http://www.inaf.it .

(The site is 100% in Italian, not known to the AASWOMEN editors, but
we have spent some time searching.)

Contents of a petition submitted to INAF management concerning this 
issue (in Italian or English) may be found at

http://www.bo.cnr.it/petizione-inaf/ .

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2. Women Who Have Left Physics Academia (continued)
From: WIPHYS of March 14, 2005

[This continues the discussion of a survey first mentioned in last week's
AASWOMEN. --eds.]

Thanks to everyone who replied so far to the leaky pipeline online survey. 
If you are a woman who has left the academic pipeline, or who is 
considering leaving, (and I haven't already heard from you) please respond 
to the online survey at 

http://www-d0.fnal.gov/~smjt/survey.html .  

Trust me, there are a lot of people out there interested in what you have 
to say! Plus your responses remain anonymous.

I spent the weekend editing the responses I have collected so far, to
preserve the anonymity of the respondents.  The responses can be
found at 

http://www-d0.fnal.gov/~smjt/survey_response.html .

I've ordered the responses from happiest to unhappiest so that
people can read the good news first ;-) The responses range from
often uplifting, to occasionally funny, to sometimes very sad.

A couple of observations:
1) For the most part, women who responded were happier after leaving 
academia.  Often a lot happier.
 
2) Women who left immediately upon graduation were significantly happier 
before leaving (by a few points!) than women who went on further in academia 
before leaving.   I find this very interesting.

Thanks also to the many people who sent me mails because they are also 
interested in this topic.  Hopefully they will find the web page of 
responses interesting and informative.   And I hope people find that I 
am attempting to treat the subject in a balanced way...I happen to be in 
academia (for the moment), but I think every person should do what makes 
them happiest instead of being pressured to fit some mold of what the 
perfect physicist supposedly is. I hope women physicists both inside and 
outside the pipeline will find the personal narratives of other women 
inspiring, and that the narratives will be a good resource for people 
studying the leaky pipeline phenomenon.
 
The responses to this study are fascinating  to read, but I should
point out that the study is somewhat flawed in two ways:

1) Based on this survey, I have no way of determining the overall
happiness level of women who are currently in physics academia. It
would be really helpful to know how  happy overall women are
with the field, and their reasons for any unhappiness.

2) I also have no way of determining if males in physics academia
are happy/unhappy with  the field at the same level as the females
and/or for the same reasons.  One way to fix this would be to give a
similar survey to a wide cross-section of physicists (both male and
female) who are currently in academia.  Can anyone think of a good
way to do this?

Best regards, and thanks again to everyone who has taken the time
to respond,

Sherry Towers
smjtfnal.gov 

PS: I will continue to update the web-page of  responses as new
responses come in

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3. Second IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics
From: WIPHYS of March 16, 2005

Dear Colleagues:
At the 1999  IUPAP General Assembly, the concern was raised that
women are greatly under-represented in the field of physics in most
countries.  Because of this imbalance, many bright young people do
not receive the opportunity to learn about physics and to prepare
themselves for a physics career, and others are discouraged from
doing so.  Recognizing that all fields of science progress most
rapidly when they draw from the complete available pool of
talented people, the participants of the General Assembly passed a
resolution to form a Working Group on Women in Physics. 

The IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics brought
together more than 300 participants, about 15 percent of them men,
from 65 countries to review data, discuss barriers, share success
stories, propose ways to improve participation globally, develop
resolutions for action by the IUPAP General Assembly, and help
teams develop appropriate strategies to improve the status of
women in physics in their home countries.  Each team developed a
brief report on the situation for women in physics in their country.
Their findings were presented through posters that can be found at
http://www.if.ufrgs.br/posters.html . 
[Note: This web site could not be accessed on Sunday, March 20, 
so we do not guarantee its accessibility to our readers. --eds.]

Three years have passed since the event. It is now time to go ahead
by looking to the future of women in physics, to [strengthen] the
network of women not only on the gender issue but also in our own
research. For this purpose, we are organizing the Second IUPAP
International Conference on Women in Physics. The event will take
place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 23-25 May 2005.

Besides discussing gender issues, this event will also have sessions
about the research of the participants. We hope this will [stimulate]
collaborations.  At the last day, we plan a plenary talk of a
outstanding researcher about her work. This presentation will be 
opened to the scientific community in Rio de Janeiro.

For information about the event, look at the website 
www.cbpf.br/women-physics  .

Sincerely yours,
Marcia C. Barbosa
barbosaif.ufrgs.br 

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