Tuesday, March 8, 2011

100th International Women's Day

Today is the 100th International Women's Day!

It's a good time to remember how far women have come in astronomy. It's a far cry from the days when Margaret Burbridge had to apply for telescope time in her husband's name. Some would argue that we've come so far that the fight is over.

But to declare the fight over would ignore those who still face discrimination or harassment even now. While women make up a third of astronomy graduate students these days, only 11% of tenured faculty are women (numbers taken from the Decadel Survey). Not to mention that the brightest girls are often discouraged from living up to their full potential. On the other hand, having female role models goes a long way toward keeping women and girls in science.

Anyway, Happy International Women's Day to all the women in astronomy out there! Reach for the stars!