Friday, August 31, 2012

AASWomen for August 31st, 2012

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of August 31, 2012
eds. Daryl Haggard, Michele Montgomery, Nick Murphy, and Caroline Simpson

This week's issues:

1. Paid Parental Leave for Graduate Students

2. Walking on Eggshells

3. Responses to the IAU in Beijing

4. January AAS Workshop: How to Be a Better Professor or Teaching Assistant for your LGBT Students

5. Tips for Trans Allies

6. Why Don't Girls And Science Mix?

7. Iranian Universities Restrict Women's Academic Choices

8. Job Opportunities

9. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

10. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

11. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter


1. Paid Parental Leave for Graduate Students
From: David Charbonneau via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

For my first post to the Women in Astronomy Blog, I would like to describe some activities that the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy is undertaking with regard to parental leave policies for graduate students.

When I joined the CSWA last year, I jumped at the chance to move this issue forward. Of course the entire topic of paid parental leave for employees in the US is enormous and perhaps baffling to our colleagues in any of the 178 other countries that have national laws guaranteeing some form of paid leave for new mothers (50 of these also guarantee paid leave for new fathers). While the US Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 does mandate up to 12 weeks of (potentially unpaid) leave for workers, many students are not considered employees and hence it isn't even clear if the FMLA applies. And besides, one might ask, aren't leave policies at a University the purview of the upper administration (in discussion with the various funding agencies), and thus the desires of the relatively small pool of astronomers students a modest consideration?

To read more, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Back to top.
2. Walking on Eggshells
From: Bekki Dawson via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

The battle for gender equity is sometimes waged at picnic tables, during the sliver of Boston summer weather pleasant enough for someone to bother rounding up a few of us to eat outside. The table gradually fills as people emerge from the building with their microwaved Tupperware. One colleague pauses as he approaches the table. "I hope I'm not interrupting a Women in Science Meeting."

I hadn't noticed until now that all four of us seated at the picnic table are women. For a moment, no one says anything and I should definitely say something, but not just anything, and I don't know how to respond, only how not to. My list of How Not to Respond goes like:

1. For goodness sake, don't "overreact". 2. But whatever you do, don't just pretend like nothing happened! This is exactly that sort of remark that can subtly cause women to feel like they don't belong in our field. Go on, champion some gender equity! 3. Also, don't spend the rest of the lunch distractedly dissecting your sandwich as you try to put yourself in his shoes. You'll find it hard to empathize, because your own experiences with skewed gender ratios are off by a couple orders of magnitude: like at the packed physics seminar, when you look around and see only one other woman in the audience and realize, with a mixture of unease and glee, that you're Not Supposed to Be Here. "I hope I'm not interrupting a Men in Science Meeting."

To read more, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Back to top.
3. Responses to the IAU in Beijing
From: Anonymous

[This is a comment, submitted anonymously, regarding the IAU Symposium happening this week and next in Beijing. -Eds.]

What do you think of a poster title, offered and presented by a young female scientist, that includes somewhat lewd imagery? I know there are always outliers at any meeting but it is really distressing to see what some scientists do (feel they must do?) for attention, their advisors (co-authors) apparently approve, but to my mind it trivializes their science. Is this a different cultural phenomenon (this was a poster by Europeans)? Are we in the US too staid?

Back to top.
4. January AAS Workshop: How to Be a Better Professor or Teaching Assistant for your LGBT Students
From: Van Dixon [dixon_at_stsci.edu]

Faculty and teaching assistants: do you feel sufficiently well informed about the issues facing your students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT)? If an LGBT student comes to your office hours asking for help, do you know how to respond? Do you know the warning signs of suicide or how to address bullying, issues that disproportionately affect LGBT students? How can you discourage discrimination and cultivate an atmosphere of inclusion in your classes and in your department? This interactive workshop will help AAS members educate themselves about their LGBT students, learn what resources are available at their home institutions, and develop themselves as more effective mentors and allies to their LGBT students. By so doing, participants will promote diversity and fairness in their classes and home institutions. The workshop will be sponsored by the AAS Working Group on LGBTIQ Equality (WGLE). Training will be conducted by Jami Grosser, Pride Center Coordinator at Cal Poly Pomona and SafeZone trainer for Caltech.

Event Type: Workshop Event Topic: 86. Education - Professional Development (Events) Organizer: William Van Dyke Dixon Location: Room 202B (Long Beach Convention Center)

Back to top.
5. Tips for Trans Allies
From: Nick Murphy [namurphy_at_cfa.harvard.edu]

The Trans Issues Group at MIT has made available a toolkit for allies of people who are transgender. This includes educational brochures, recommended reading, and other resources:

http://web.mit.edu/trans/alliestoolkit.html

Particularly helpful are their Tips for Trans Allies, including: "Be patient with a person who is questioning their gender identity" and "Don't just add the 'T' to LGBT without doing work."

http://web.mit.edu/trans/tipsfortransallies.pdf

These suggestions will help make our community a safer space for people of all genders.

Back to top.
6. Why Don't Girls And Science Mix?
From: Joan Schmelz [jschmelz_at_memphis.edu]

Shelley Emling wrote:

Girls just don't mix well with science or math. At least that's the message that continues to emerge from studies on the under-representation of women in these fields.

High school girls still make up only 17 percent of computer science Advanced Placement (AP) test takers. And women still make up only 27 percent of those earning math PhDs. The same percentage - 27 percent - of people with careers in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM) fields are women. Just 30 percent of STEM college professors are women.

To read more, please see:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shelley-emling/girls-and-science-mix_b_1833455.html

Back to top.
7. Iranian Universities Restrict Women's Academic Choices
From: AWIS Newsletter, August 2012

Zakiyyah Wahab wrote:

Thirty-six universities in Iran have banned women from 77 fields of study. The ban, which was first reported Aug. 6 by Iran's semiofficial Mehr News Agency, came as the results of university entrance exams for the coming academic year were being announced.

To read more, please see:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/world/middleeast/20iht-educbriefs20.html?_r=4

Back to top.
8. Job Opportunities

* Assistant Professor of Astronomy, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA

http://www.gettysburg.edu/dotAsset/3354027.pdf

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

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

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.
10. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

Join AAS Women List by email:

aaswlist+subscribe_at_aas.org

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

To unsubscribe by email:

aawlist+unsubscribe_at_aas.org

Join or leave AASWomen, or change your membership settings:

https://groups.google.com/a/aas.org/group/aaswlist

You will have to create a Google Account if you do not already have one, using https://accounts.google.com/newaccount?hl=en

Google Groups Subscribe Help:

http://support.google.com/groups/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=46606

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

Back to top.
11. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

http://www.aas.org/cswa/AASWOMEN.html

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

--

Back to top.