Saturday, July 26, 2014

AASWOMEN Newsletter for July 25, 2014

AAS Committee on the Status of Women AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of July 25, 2014
eds: Daryl Haggard, Nicolle Zellner, Meredith Hughes, & Elysse Voyer

This week's issues:

1. Why So Few? Spatial Skills

2. Survive Academia with this One Simple Trick!

3. Career Profiles: Astronomer to Financial Analyst

4. Tech Valley Connect

5. Many women scientists sexually harassed during fieldwork

6. Science Magazine Puts Transgender Women on Cover, Without Their Heads

7. Beautiful minds: books that celebrate women in science

8. The First Woman to Own American Ninja Warrior

9. Job Opportunities

10. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

11. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

12. Access to Past Issues


1. Why So Few? Spatial Skills
From: Joan Schmelz via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

The 2010 report entitled, "Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics", by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), investigates the area of spatial skills learning. One of the largest and most persistent gender gaps in cognitive skills is found in the area of spatial skills, where boys and men consistently outperform girls and women on average. Spatial skills are thought to be critically important for success in fields such as engineering, and many people believe that they are innate and, therefore, some believe that the gender difference in spatial skills explains why there are so few women in engineering, for example.

Research highlighted in the report, however, shows that spatial skills are not fixed and can improve dramatically in a short time with training.

To read more, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2014/07/why-so-few-spatial-skills.html

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2. Survive Academia with this One Simple Trick!
From: Jessica Kirkpatrick via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

[Cross-posted from Astrobetter: Dr. Sarah Ballard completed her PhD in Astronomy & Astrophysics at Harvard University in 2012 and is now a NASA Carl Sagan fellow at the University of Washington. She's written articles for the Harvard Crimson and for the Women in Astronomy blog about parental leave, values affirmation, and the intelligence of groups. On her website, she also provides some resources for running your own Impostor Syndrome workshop. Follow her on Twitter at: @hubbahubble -Eds]

For every article I've written on navigating astronomy, I've had probably one hundred small conversations on the same topic with one of my dearest peers in astronomy. When my friend Sarah Rugheimer and I were graduate students in the same department, we met in one another's offices and bolstered one another at the lowest points. We normalized our impostor thoughts by confessing them and laughing about them. But then I moved, so we've had to come up with more creative solutions to support one another. From the necessity of invention, I think we’ve stumbled on something pretty great.

To read more, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2014/07/survive-academia-with-this-one-simple.html#more

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3. Career Profiles: Astronomer to Financial Analyst
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 financial analyst. S/he went straight to finance after obtaining her/his Ph.D. Location, salary, and work environment were important factors in his/her decision to leave astronomy. 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/2014/07/career-profiles-astronomer-to-financial.html

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4. Tech Valley Connect
From: Nancy Morrison [nancy.morrison_at_utoledo.edu]

In the Summer 2014 issue of AWIS Magazine is an interesting article by Angela McNerney, President and CEO of Tech Valley Connect.

This nonprofit organization is a consortium of colleges/universities, medical facilities, and corporations in the Capital Region of New York. Its mission is to assist recruitment and retention of dual-career couples in that region by facilitating spousal hires and assisting families with assimilation into the region. It originated with an Elsevier Foundation- and NSF ADVANCE-funded pilot program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY). McNerney writes:

" ... Tech Valley Connect's clients are staying. After 4 1/2 years of implementing this unique infrastructure, working with over 150 new hires (38% women hires), 95% of those new original hires have remained in their positions.

"Spouses/partners have found jobs 39% faster than the national average. ..."

Although this organization is regional, it is being emulated in at least two other locations (UC Davis and the University of Maine, Orono). Perhaps it is of interest to AASWomen readers who might consider initiating similar activities.

The AWIS Magazine article (AWIS member login required): http://magazine.awis.org/i/330312 page 28

Tech Valley Connect website: http://www.techvalleyconnect.com

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5. Many women scientists sexually harassed during fieldwork
From: Daryl Haggard [dhaggard_at_amherst.edu]

[Nature News reports, "An expanded survey of abuse in the field points to the need for clearer policies." -Eds]

by Anna Simmonds

Working in the field sounds like a scientist's dream, but for some, it can turn into a nightmare. The largest survey yet to examine the prevalence of sexual harassment among scientists doing field work suggests that it is an overlooked problem1 — and that female trainees may be disproportionately vulnerable.

The authors, led by anthropologist Kathryn Clancy of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, say that clearer policies for reporting and dealing with abuse are needed.

To read more, please see

http://www.nature.com/news/many-women-scientists-sexually-harassed-during-fieldwork-1.15571

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6. Science Magazine Puts Transgender Women on Cover, Without Their Heads
From: Daryl Haggard [dhaggard_at_amherst.edu]

by Zoe Schlanger

Science, the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, put an image of transgender women sex workers on their cover this week, to accompany an extensive special section about HIV/AIDS prevention approaches. However, on the cover, the women's heads were cut out of the frame, leaving only their bodies.

To read more, please see

http://www.newsweek.com/science-magazine-puts-transwomen-their-cover-without-their-heads-259455

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7. Beautiful minds: books that celebrate women in science
From: Daryl Haggard [dhaggard_at_amherst.edu]

[Seattle Times book editor Mary Ann Gwinn recommends the novels "The Signature of All Things" and "Remarkable Creatures," and the biographies "Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie" and "Rosalind Franklin: the Dark Lady of DNA."]

I always have a go-to book recommendation in my back pocket, one I can pull out when the question of "What should I read next?" pops up. This summer it's Elizabeth Gilbert's novel (Viking) the story of Alma Whittaker, an eccentric and wealthy young 19th-century woman who holds botany and plants in the highest regard. Specifically, Alma loves bryophytes -- mosses, liverworts and hornworts -- and in the service of her passion, she travels to several continents and makes enormous sacrifices, simply because there are things she has to know.

This got me thinking of other books about women of science. At the center of each of these stories is a woman who pursued scientific knowledge at all costs. Because she had to know.

To read more, please see

http://seattletimes.com/html/books/2024082861_litlifewomensciencexml.html

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8. The First Woman to Own American Ninja Warrior
From: Matthew Greenhouse [matthew.a.greenhouse_at_nasa.gov]

This link has nothing to do with being a scientist or other scholarly pursuits; however, it shows an achievement in the area of popular athletics that your readership might get a kick out of:

http://www.ijreview.com/2014/07/157500-meet-incredible-competitor-first-woman-qualify-american-ninja-warrior-final

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9. Job Opportunities

For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here:

http://www.aas.org/cswa/diversity.html#howtoincrease

* Program Director(s) in the Division of Astronomical Sciences at the National Science Foundation

http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=ast14001

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

Join AAS Women List by email:

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12. Access to Past Issues

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

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

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