Friday, May 9, 2014

AASWOMEN Newsletter for May 9, 2014

AAS Committee on the Status of Women AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of May 9, 2014
eds. Michele M. Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, Nick Murphy, & Nicolle Zellner

This week's issues:

1. Ain't I a woman? At the intersection of gender, race and sexuality

2. June AAS Town Hall: Addressing Sexual Violence on College Campuses

3. Gender & Race Differences in NonAcademic Careers for STEM Ph.D.s

4. Career Profiles: Astronomer to Soft Money Researcher

5. New Resource Guide for Women in Astronomy

6. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

7. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

8. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter


1. Ain't I a woman? At the intersection of gender, race and sexuality
From: Chanda Prescod-Weinstein via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

In 1851, former slave Sojourner Truth asked white feminists, "Ain't I a woman?" when they refused to let her speak at a women's conference because she was Black. One might hope that in 158 years, that speech wouldn't seem so essential and relevant. But at the 2009 Women in Astronomy conference, my first foray into non-race oriented equal opportunity efforts, we were told the news was good: women had made significant gains and equality was on its way. There was no substantive mention of race beyond Peggy McIntosh's talk. But I knew the truth. I have been looking at the NSF and AIP statistics myself for years, and I knew that the news was not good for Black, Latina, and Native American women. Those numbers hadn't changed too significantly in three decades. How could they possibly be telling us that the news was good?

As a queer Black (cis)woman, I live at the intersection of multiple minority statuses. More of my time than I would like has been sucked up in trying to fend off the marginalization that society's structures foist upon anyone who has even one of these identities. More of my time than I would like has been spent thinking about a way out of those structures and trying to convince others to help.

And here's one thing I want out of: the phrase "women and minorities," a phrase I used to use a lot myself. As part of the effort to push for equal opportunities in STEM, I used it repeatedly for over a decade, thinking that I was advocating not just for strangers but also for myself. At some point however, hearing other people use it began to grate on me. A lot.

That underrepresented minority (URM) women aren't doing well in STEM signals just how well other women are doing: they are gaining ground that should be ours too. So, it's clear that the phrase "women and minorities" is failing us. It's clear that the "and" in that phrase is functionally an "or." And in that "or," people like me, our individual experiences, and the statistics most relevant to them are rendered invisible. What those 2009 celebratory pronouncements should have said was, "The news is good for white women." Implicit to how they were stated was the suggestion that all the women are white.

But I was there. And I am still here, and I still find that my most challenging experiences with discrimination are an awful non-linear combination of how people respond to my gender presentation, to my racial/ethnic presentation, and the assumptions people make about the socioeconomic class I grew up in (or rather people thinking it's okay to say bad things about people who share that socioeconomic class). To separate those things out is akin to suggesting that an inseparable differential equation can be magically transformed into a separable one. It's complete nonsense, and it has no place amongst scientists.

To read more, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2014/05/aint-i-woman-at-intersection-of-gender.html

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2. June AAS Town Hall: Addressing Sexual Violence on College Campuses
From: Nick Murphy [namurphy_at_cfa.harvard.edu]

If you will be attending the upcoming AAS meeting in Boston, please join us for a town hall on "Addressing Sexual Violence on College Campuses."

The Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) has invited representatives from the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) to lead a workshop to challenge prevailing ideas about the circumstances surrounding sexual violence. The representatives from BARCC will discuss research on repeat perpetration and acquaintance rape. They will discuss how community awareness can be instrumental in creating change, particularly at colleges and universities.

This town hall will be held on Tuesday, June 3 from 12:45-1:45 pm in the Staffordshire room at Westin Copley Place as part of the AAS meeting. Due to the nature of this town hall, many of the topics discussed may be triggering to survivors of sexual assault.

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3. Gender & Race Differences in NonAcademic Careers for STEM Ph.D.s
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Nonacademic career trajectories are an important and often overlooked piece of the conversation about recruitment and retention of women and minorities in STEM.

A new analysis by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) shows 61% of STEM Ph.D.s have careers outside of academia. This should come as no real surprise. What is of interest here is that there are statistically significant differences by race and gender. For example, Black, Hispanic, and White women with STEM Ph.D.s who went on to nonacademic careers are more likely to leave STEM compared with other groups in nonacademic careers. About 28% of these women work in non-STEM fields, compared with Asian men (16%), Asian women (18%), Hispanic men (18%), black men (21%) and white men (21%).

Furthermore, more than 57% of all male STEM Ph.D.s work in research and development, compared with 43% of all white female STEM Ph.D.s and 37% of black female STEM Ph.D.s.

To read more, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2014/05/gender-race-differences-in-nonacademic.html

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4. Career Profiles: Astronomer to Soft Money Researcher
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

The AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy and the AAS Employment Committee have compiled dozens of interviews highlighting the diversity of career trajectories available to astronomers. The interviews share advice and lessons learned from individuals on those paths.

Below is our interview with an astronomer turned soft money researcher. S/he is the PI for a major instrument on a 10-m class telescope. S/he is also in a dual astronomy career couple. If you have questions, suggestions, advice to share, etc. about this career path, please leave a comment below.

To read more, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2014/05/career-profiles-astronomer-to-soft.html

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5. New Resource Guide for Women in Astronomy
From: Jill Tarter [tarter_at_seti.org]

Andrew Fraknoi has just completed a new resource guide that provides references and links to many articles/books/videos that tell the historical story of women's contribution to astronomy and astrophysics as well as providing current role models for young women. You can find it at:

http://multiverse.ssl.berkeley.edu/women

According to Andy, "One of the NASA Education and Outreach Forums asked me to put together a guide for Astro 101 instructors (and other educators) on the issues that have faced women in astronomy and the work of some of the women who can serve as role models for the next generation. Part of a series called 'Unheard Voices,' this guide is now available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Sponsored by the Heliophysics Forum of the Space Missions Directorate at NASA, the guide includes written, on-line, and audio-visual materials, many of which can be used directly in the classroom or for student papers. It features sections on: the history of women in astronomy in general, materials on selected women astronomers of the past, issues facing women in astronomy today, and materials on selected contemporary women astronomers, and is 13 pages long as a PDF."

I think we owe Andy a big thank you for compiling this excellent resource guide. I'm quite sure he'd appreciate hearing from you if you think that there is valuable material that hasn't been included.

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6. 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.

When submitting a job posting for inclusion in the newsletter, please include a one-line description and a link to the full job posting.

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

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7. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

Join AAS Women List by email:

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8. Access to Past Issues

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

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

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