Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Take the Impact of Parenthood on Career Progression in STEMM Survey

Woman with short brown hair holding a megaphone
Image via mothersinscience.com/survey
There is still time to take the Impact of Parenthood on Career Progression in STEMM survey. This is a broad survey that aims to learn more about how parenthood affects career progression in STEMM and identify obstacles faced by people with children. This survey is open to everyone "working or studying in any professional sector of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics or Medicine (STEMM), at any career stage." They are especially interested in the responses of fathers. The survey closes Monday, November 30, 2020.

Take the survey at


Learn more about the partners behind the survey at

Washington University in St. Louis
Parent in Science
500 Women Scientists
Femmes & Sciences
International Network of Women in Engineering and Sciences (INWES)

Friday, November 13, 2020

Thursday, November 12, 2020

A Strategic Plan for the 2020s

By Pat Knezek (former Chair, CSWA) and Nicolle Zellner (current Chair, CSWA) 

During 2018 the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) collected information via community surveys and forums about what our communities considered to be areas of key importance beyond scientific research that the AAS, its divisions, and its relevant committees (including the CSWA itself) should focus on as we move into the 2020s. In a 2019 post, we stated that the goal would be to use this information to (1) develop one or more white papers* that would be submitted to the Decadal Survey as a part of the call for papers on the state of the profession and (2) develop a new strategic plan for the CSWA for the 2020s. 

We are thrilled to tell you that both goals have been accomplished!

In a series of weekly meetings for almost a year, a sub-group+ of the CSWA worked together to evaluate the community input related to four focus areas (Harassment and Bullying; Creating Inclusive Environments; Professional Development, Hiring, and Retention; and Professional Ethics) and identified objectives in each of them. A draft of the resulting Strategic Plan was approved by the entire CSWA, and we then sought input from the Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy (CSMA), the Committee for Sexual-Orientation & Gender Minorities in Astronomy (SGMA), the Working Group on Accessibility and Disability (WGAD), the DPS Professional Culture & Climate Subcommittee (PCCS), the AAS Committee on Employment, the AAS Education Committee, and the AAS President, Executive Officer, and Board. 

All of the input was seriously considered, 
and the Strategic Plan reflects the input received by all who responded.

Several of the Focus Areas now have active projects, including finalizing and submitting for publication a summary of the results of our 2019 survey; a proposed evaluation of hiring and retention practices at major institutions; and an evaluation of the dual-anonymous publication review process. Importantly, more intentional communications and collaborations among the AAS diversity committees (CSWA, CSMA, SGMA, and WGAD) are being established. Equally important is that the Strategic Plan is a living document that will be reviewed at least annually and updated as necessary.

You will be hearing more about these projects soon, and the CSWA will be seeking volunteers from the community to participate in any that interest them. We look forward to moving forward with these and other projects to come as we now work to implement the Plan!

"Bringing Astronomy Within Reach". Image by Feelsinara,


+ Members of the CSWA who primarily worked on drafting this plan are Jessica Mink, Greg Rudnick, Regina Jorgenson, Maria Patterson, James Tuttle Keane, Tiffany Stone-Wolbrecht, Stella Kafka, Nicolle Zellner, and Pat Knezek.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Meet Your CSWA: Sukanya Chakrabarti

Sukanya got her Ph.d. from UC Berkeley, held postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard and UC Berkeley, and is currently faculty at RIT.  She works broadly on a number of areas from galactic dynamics to time-domain astronomy.