Monday, June 25, 2012

AASWomen for June 22, 2012

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of June 22, 2012
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson, and Michele Montgomery

This week's issues:

1. Feminine Role Models

2. Incivility Among Faculty Members

3. Why Women Still Can't Have It All

4. Firsts for Women in Human Space Flight

5. IAU Working Group on Women in Astronomy

6. Job Opportunities - ALMA Operations Astronomer

7. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

8. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

9. Access to Past Issues

1. Feminine Role Models
From: Kate Follette via

I'm sure I wasn't the only one who was dismayed when I read the headline "My Fair Physicist? Feminine Math and Science Role Models Demotivate Young Girls."

The article, which was posted to the WIA blog on April 16th and is linked here

was published in Social, Psychological and Personality Science. Its abstract reads:

Women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are labeled unfeminine, a costly social label that may discourage female students from pursuing these fields. Challenges to this stereotype include feminine STEM role models, but their counterstereotypic-yet-feminine success may actually be demotivating, particularly to young girls.

. Study 1 showed that feminine STEM role models reduced middle school girls' current math interest, self-rated ability, and success expectations relative to gender-neutral STEM role models and depressed future plans to study math among STEM-disidentified girls. These results did not extend to feminine role models displaying general (not STEM-specific) school success, indicating that feminine cues were not driving negative outcomes.

. Study 2 suggested that feminine STEM role models' combination of femininity and success seemed particularly unattainable to STEM-disidentified girls.

The results call for a better understanding of feminine STEM figures aimed at motivating young girls.

After reading the study myself, the bitter aftertaste of its primary conclusion - that "feminine" STEM role models demotivate girls who are STEM-disinclined - stuck with me for several months. I kept coming back to it and thinking "this CAN'T be true, can it??"

[To read more, please see ]

Back to top.
2. Incivility Among Faculty Members
From: Nancy Morrison [NMorris_UTNet.UToledo.Edu]

In view of the CSWA-sponsored session on bullying at the recent AAS meeting in Anchorage (about which I am looking forward to learning more), it is interesting that the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has also just sponsored a session on this topic at its annual conference.

Some speakers at the conference advocated specific university policies on civil behavior, but the AAUP has cautioned in the past that too-definite policies might stifle open discourse. From the variety of points of view expressed in that session, it is clear that this topic is not as straightforward as it might at first seem.

'Another faculty member had a simpler idea. He suggested following the ideas in a book called The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't by Robert Sutton, a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University.'

To read more:

Back to top.
3. Why Women Still Can't Have It All
From: Bettina Posselt []

Here is an interesting article by Princeton Politics and International Affairs professor Anne-Marie Slaughter who was the director of policy planning at the State Department:

"Why Women Still Can't Have It All

It's time to stop fooling ourselves, says a woman who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed. If we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women, here's what has to change...."

[To read more, please see:]

It was also presented on NPR's Fresh Air

Back to top.
4. Firsts for Women in Human Space Flight
From: Matthew Greenhouse [] has put up a nice gallery of "firsts" for women in human space exploration:

Back to top.
5. IAU Working Group on Women in Astronomy
From: Michele M. Montgomery []

The IAU 28th General Assembly will be held in Beijing, China. The Women in Astronomy Meeting (WAM) will be held Monday 27 August. Aims of the IAU Working Group include evaluating the status of women in astronomy; collection of statistics from all countries where astronomy research is carried out; and to establish strategies and actions that can help women attain true equality as research astronomers. More information on the group can be found at

More information on the upcoming IAU meeting can be found at

Back to top.
Job Opportunities - ALMA Operations Astronomer

Back to top.
6. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

To submit an item to the AASWOMEN newsletter, including replies to topics, send email to

All material will be posted unless you tell us otherwise, including your email address.

Please remember to replace "_at_" in the e-mail address above.

Back to top.
7. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

Join AAS Women List by email:

Be sure to follow the instructions in the confirmation email. (Just reply back to the email list)

To unsubscribe by email:

Join or leave AASWomen, or change your membership settings:

You will have to create a Google Account if you do not already have one, using

Google Groups Subscribe Help:

Please remember to replace "_at_" in the e-mail address above.

Back to top.
8. Access to Past Issues

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

Back to top.

No comments :