AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy
Issue of March 29, 2013
eds. Caroline Simpson, Michele Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, & Nick Murphy

This week's issues:

1. Mind the Gender Gap

2. Lipsticks and Labcoats

3. Women Faculty: Hiring & Retention

4. Why Is a Woman Who Loves Science So Surprising?

5. Women in Exploration

6. Job Opportunities

7. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

8. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

9. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

1. Mind the Gender Gap
From: Jessica Kirkpatrick via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

A recent Nature article discusses problems with the hiring and retention of
women in science and engineering:


The National Science Foundation finds that while female scientists have made
steady gains in recent decades they face persistent career challenges. US
universities and colleges employ far more male scientists than female ones and
men earn significantly more in science occupations.

While overt sexism seems to be rare, studies find that 52% of women report
encountering gender bias during their careers, compared with just 2% of men.
Studies of unconscious bias in hiring find that identical resumes (one with a
female name, and one with a male name) get significantly different salary
offers. Overall, women in physics and astronomy in the US make an average of 40%
less than their male counterparts.

To read more, please see


2. Lipsticks and Labcoats
From: Hannah Jang-Condell via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

March is Women's History Month, and this year's theme is Women in STEM. As part
of my university's festivities, we had a panel discussion entitled, "Lipsticks
and Lab Coats: Women's Challenges and Journeys in STEM." Despite not being a
wearer of either lipstick or a labcoat, I was invited to participate on the
panel, and got a free lunch out of the deal.

The discussion touched on many of the issues that I've come to be very familiar
with through my involvement with CSWA: unconscious and conscious bias, gender
policing, lack of support for childcare, leaky pipelines, trying to lead while
being a woman, two-body problems, and work-family balance, just to name a few. I
have to remind myself at events like these that although I feel like I'm
re-treading the same ground over and over again in discussing these issues,
that's not true for everyone.

To read more, please see


3. Women Faculty: Hiring & Retention
From: Annika Peter via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

About a decade ago, some top-tier universities starting realizing that they were
not hiring or retaining very many women faculty in their science and engineering
departments. MIT is particularly famous (or infamous) for having had so few
women on its faculty as recently as the late 1990's. This realization is an
indication that the AIP's finding of a lower proportion of women at PhD granting
institutions than colleges and universities as a whole is in part because they
simply were not hiring and retaining women at rate one would have expected based
on PhD completion rates. Since then, these universities have undergone
self-studies to identify concrete steps they can take to improve the retention
of women faculty, and have implemented a number of changes.

To read more and for links to a few of these universities' reports and findings,
please see


4. Why Is a Woman Who Loves Science So Surprising?
From: Rick Fienberg [rick.fienberg_at_aas.org]

By Christine Dell'Amore from National Geographic News

All she did was join Twitter. But when Elise Andrew, the brain behind the
popular Facebook page I F**king Love Science, posted her Twitter profile picture
there last week, some of the page's 4.3 million fans were shocked to learn her
gender, even though Andrew's identity as a woman was no secret.

To read more, please see


5. Women in Exploration
From: Daryl Haggard [darylhaggard_at_gmail.com]

Celebrate International Women's Day, March 8, 2013, with National Geographic's
outstanding female explorers of the past and present. Whether directly making a
difference in girls' lives or being role models for future adventurers and
researchers, these explorers paved the path least traveled for women all over
the world.

To read more, please see


6. Job Opportunities

For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their
organizations, a list of resources and advice is here:


* A variety of jobs are available from AURA (includes NOAO, NSO, LSST, and WIYN)

7. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

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9. Access to Past Issues


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.