AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of February 12, 2012
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery

This week's issues:

1. When Women Stay Home, It's Not Child Care; When Men Do, It Is

2. Women In Physics: A Tale Of Limits 

3. Affirmative Action Policies Promote Women And Do Not Harm Efficiency
  In The Laboratory  

4. Climate dream: Inclusion of diverse backgrounds and interests

5. Diversity of Women Postdocs

6. Student Virtual Forum In Anchorage

7. Career and Diversity Events at the APS March Meeting 

8. Job Opportunities

9. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

10. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

11. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

1. When Women Stay Home, it's Not Child Care; When Men Do, it is
From: Chanda Prescod-Weinstein [chandadeepti_at_gmail.com]

I don't see how we're supposed to make progress on family-friendly
policies when we can't even get the IRS to admit that it's work when
women do it, not just when men do it:

Apparently men should get credit if they bother with a "second shift,"
but not women. Unbelievable.    

2. Women In Physics: A Tale Of Limits 
From: Physics Today [http://www.physicstoday.org/]

By: Rachel Ivie and Casey Langer Tesfaye

February 2012, page 47 

A newly completed survey of 15,000 physicists worldwide reveals that
women physicists still do not have equal access to the career-advancing
resources and opportunities enjoyed by their male colleagues.  


3. Affirmative Action Policies Promote Women And Do Not Harm Efficiency
  In The Laboratory  
From: Waves and Packets, Feb. 4, 2012

The educational attainments of women exceed those of men in most
developed countries, yet women continue to lag behind in access to top
corporate jobs. Without dismissing the role of discrimination, recent
research has implicated a lower preference of women for competition. A
report published in Science by Balafoutas and Sutter shows how
affirmative action policies can increase the willingness of women to
compete without affecting the chances of highly skilled men to succeed
and while preserving post-competition cooperation between individuals. 

Story posted at: 

Science Article at:

4. Climate dream: Inclusion of diverse backgrounds and interests
From: Ed Bertschinger on the Women In Astronomy blog 


Recently I've heard female student speakers courageously describe their
struggles to find support and encouragement for being different from
their peers in interest or culture, not only gender. At my university's
annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration breakfast today, an
undergraduate told how she felt looked down upon at a technical
university for majoring in economics. Questions from her peers like "Why
aren't you an engineer or scientist?" and "Why would anyone come here to
do that?" reinforced her own self-doubt in the classic multiplier of
stereotype threat. The impact is largest when there are no peers or role
models to provide a positive image of choices like those made by this
young woman. 

Two weeks ago, at a university-wide diversity summit, an international
female graduate student told a similar struggle of fitting in as a
double minority - a female engineer with an accent and different
cultural background than her peers. She had learned to give and take
with the guys, but it was clear that the callouses accompanying a
thickened skin increase the academic drag coefficient. 

Ideally, each of these students and all others from underrepresented
groups could find mentors who provide encouragement and help in dealing
with criticism. Unfortunately, we are as far from that ideal as we are
from a perfect meritocracy. Meanwhile, individual acts of courage - by
students telling their stories, and by staff and faculty offering
support to students - may help to stem the losses that otherwise
accompany a bad climate dream. 

5. Diversity of Women Postdocs
From: Chanda Prescod-Weinstein [chandadeepti_at_gmail.com]

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein points out that "the MIT Department of Physics
is home to three first year female postdocs who happen to be of
African, Mexican and Native American descent, all working on astronomy
or physics related to astronomy. I'd be interested to know if any
other department has ever accomplished this?"

She brings this up in the context of one of the results from the Women
in Astronomy Conference III held in 2009, at which it became clear
that the community needs more focus on the issues facing women of
color. Chanda points out that statistics indicate "that while the news
is good for white women, for Black, Latina and Native American women,
nothing has changed in the last 30 years." She adds "I understand that
CSWA's mission is to focus on women. It is my hope that this is with
the understanding that some of us are also women of color, or queer,
or of different levels of physical ability. A remarkable achievement
like this [MIT's diverse female postdoc cohort] shouldn't go unmarked.
People often say that it's hard to even get one of us because the
talent pool is too small. What's happening at MIT physics is an
antidote to that argument, and we should advertise it as widely as
possible. The fact that it's remarkable at all should merit

6. Student Virtual Forum In Anchorage
From: Kim Coble [kcoble.csu_at_gmail.com]

The AAS has a cool new opportunity for student presentations. Please
spread the word. 

Kim Coble, for the AEB


The AAS Astronomy Education Board (AEB) is pleased to announce an
experimental online session at the 220th AAS meeting in Anchorage,
Alaska, called the Student Virtual Forum (SVF). Undergraduate students
who cannot attend the meeting in person may nevertheless present short
oral papers "virtually," that is, from remote locations via
the Internet. 

Students are invited to submit abstracts for the SVF on any astronomical
research that they have conducted, including research in astronomy
education or the history of astronomy. Faculty members are encouraged to
mentor students in applying to participate. Abstracts should be
submitted through the regular abstract form at
http://members.aas.org/abstracts; be sure to specify topical category 46
(Student Virtual Forum). The deadline for submitting abstracts is March
1, 2012, at 9 p.m. EST; late abstracts will not be considered for the

Note that a limited number of abstracts can be accepted for the SVF, and
if your abstract is accepted, you'll be required to pay a nominal
registration fee to present your paper. Applicants will be notified
whether their abstract has been accepted for the SVF in mid-March. To
give your abstract the best possible shot at acceptance, we recommend
you read "Tips for Writing the Abstract of an AAS Meeting
Presentation" at http://aas.org/career/writinganabstract. Accepted
presenters will be required to submit their presentation slides by May
24, 2012, for upload and testing. 

Note that the virtual session will be a live online event during the AAS
meeting; it will accommodate on-site meeting attendees, online student
presenters, and other virtual participants. While there is a fee for
students to present papers, there is no fee for audience members to
participate in the session remotely online. More information for
presenters and instructions for joining the SVF on-site or online will

7. Career and Diversity Events at the APS March Meeting 
From: WIPHYS, February 9, 2012

Career and Diversity Events at the APS March Meeting

A variety of career and diversity events will be offered at the upcoming
APS March Meeting in Boston. 

   * Networking Reception following Professional Skills Development
   * Workshop, February 26 
   * APS Job Expo, February 27-29
   * COM/CSWP Diversity Networking Reception, February 28
   * CSWP/FIAP Networking Luncheon, February 28
   * Lunch with the Experts (for Graduate Students), February 28

Visit the March Meeting's Events & Activities site for times and locations.

8. Job Opportunities

  * NRAO Postdoctoral position, NANOGrav
    https://careers.nrao.edu ; click on the Scientist Position button
    [then select "Research Associate" - Webmaster]

  * Assistant or Associate Professor in Applied Mathematics and
    Theoretical Physics, University of Ontario
    http://www.apmaths.uwo.ca/ ; click on the link under News &
    Announcements on the right side of the page

  * Wiess Instructorship in Physics and Astronomy, Rice University

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11. Access to Past Issues


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