I'm here attending a scientific conference this week. As I've been going to talks and interacting with people, I couldn't help but notice something interesting about the representation of women here, so I worked out the numbers during an idle moment. Here's what I found:
Women accounted for
|42 of 126 participants||33%||(probably an underestimate, since it's based solely on names)|
|7 of 20 contributed talks||35%|
|7 of 15 invited talks||47%||(actually one less, because one had to cancel at the last minute)|
|14 of 35 speakers total||40%|
|2 of 13 session chairs||15%|
I'm willing to forgive them that last number. All in all, this makes me pretty proud to be part of this meeting. Of course, as I mentioned before, some subfields of astronomy do better than others are retaining women, and I happen to be in one of them. There really does seem to be something of a critical mass that's required before women begin to really feel welcome in a particular field of study.
As a side note, I had an interesting conversation about problems facing in astronomy with someone here, and he wasn't a woman, and I didn't bring it up.