Friday, February 13, 2015

AASWOMEN Newsletter for February 13, 2015

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of February 13, 2015
eds: Daryl Haggard, Nicolle Zellner, Meredith Hughes, & Elysse Voyer

This week's issues:



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From:  Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

There's a koan in academia for when is the best time to have a kid: No time is the right time, all times are equally good (bad?)

My husband is also a postdoc. We have a 9 month old. This is a glass half full kind of post, about how we've taken advantage of the flexible hours, the autonomy, and a few supportive policies to pursue parenting and work on our own(-ish) terms. 

The short of it is that at least one of us was home with our daughter full time until she turned 4 months old and at least one of us continues to be home with her four days a week. 

Learn how this couple tries to manage work-life balance at 


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From: AAS [aas_at_aas.org], AWIS

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) and Association for Women in Science (AWIS) thank you very much for attending the 2nd annual State of the Universe briefing on 5 February 2015. 

If you have any questions regarding the briefing, astronomy, or women in science more generally, please don’t hesitate to contact the AAS at public.policy@aas.org or (202) 328-2010 x120, or AWIS at rodriguez@awis.org or (703) 894-4490.

The presentation, prepared remarks, and video are now available at 


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From: Kevin Marvel [kevin.marvel_at_aas.org]

A number of articles related to gender issues, including unconscious bias, appear in the 2014 Q4 issue of McKinsey Quarterly.  

Find these articles on the front page at


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From:  Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

I once heard that one of the barriers to girls continuing in the STEM fields was that a parent (usually the mom) didn’t like or understand science and/or math. The daughter, then, in an effort to be like her mom, also decided she didn’t like science and/or math.

Julie Kantor, Chief Partnership Officer for STEMconnector & Million Women Mentors, offers up several tips and resources for how moms – and dads – can be STEM mentors.  In particular, she addresses the situation where a parent asks, “What can we do to expose our daughter to coding and get her 'tinkering' or building things?”

Find out at 


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From: Stella Offner [soffner_at_astro.umass.edu]

Benjamin Schmidt, a history professor at Northeastern University, mined 14 million student reviews on the Rate My Professor website and created an interactive chart that allows the user to compare adjectives or phrases with gender. “Male professors are brilliant, awesome and knowledgeable. Women are bossy and annoying, and beautiful or ugly.”  Using these evaluations, then, when assessing professors, is problematic because “the way people write them is really culturally conditioned”.

Read more at


Find the interactive chart at


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From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

Women in STEM experience unconscious bias and microaggression, but in some cases, “[s]ociety is much more complacent with …[a]… brown face being a cast member of Love and Hip-Hop, than … an educator of college students.” Saaraa Bailey, a black college professor, describes some ways in which black women face added scrutiny, such as being mistaken for a student or suffering from condescending small talk from colleagues.

Read more at


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From: Stella Offner [soffner_at_astro.umass.edu]

In a study by Madeline Heilman, a New York University psychologist, male and female employees were evaluated according to how each responded to requests of co-workers. “Over and over, after giving identical help, a man was significantly more likely to be recommended for promotions, important projects, raises and bonuses. A woman had to help just to get the same rating as a man who didn’t help.”

Read more at


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From:  Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

I always like checking out these websites to see how the salary in our field compares to that in others.  Spoiler alert: Astronomer/Physicist comes in at #3.

See the whole list at


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Visiting Assistant Professor in Physics, Albion College, Albion, MI

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Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.