Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Women in Astronomy & Space Sciences: Live-blogging Wednesday morning Part I

I got up feeling much better this morning, but wasn't quite able to make it in time, so I missed Anne Kinney's remarks and most of Ed Weiler's keynote address.

The one comment about Weiler's address I did catch: E/PO is crucial, children listen better to those who look like them,
so women should do more outreach. He also noted that 2/3 of population are NOT white men, so by not recruiting women and minorities, you're losing out on a lot of the available workforce.

Rachel Ivie: Longitudinal Study of Astronomy Graduate Students
A description of the Longitudinal Survey and some initial results. Some of the things the initial study focused on were symptoms of Impostor Syndrome and the kind of training grad students receive. Unsurprisingly, women suffer more from imposter syndrome than men, and mentoring is important.

Claude Canizares: Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty
An NRC study, to be published imminently. Snapshot surveys carried out in 2004 & 2005. In general, women represent an increasing share of representation in STEM, but it's still small. They find that while the proportion of women given interviews was greater than the applicantion rate and the proportion of offers given to women was still higher, the proportion of women among applications was itself much less than the available candidates. The biggest discrepancies were in biology and chemistry which have the greatest proportion of women overall. Best quote: the STEM field is a "profession designed by monks in the Middle Ages." During the question session, Meg Urry noted that women tend to carefully select and narrow down the number of jobs they apply for, while men tend to apply for many more jobs, and that might inflate the proportion of men in the application rate.

Also: they've passed out these Networking Booklets, where you need to gather 20 signatures from people you had not met before. At the networking event tonight, you get to be enrolled in a raffle! All us grumpy introverts are grumpy. (Ann H, if you're reading this, I'm not holding it against you.)