Friday, June 26, 2015

AASWOMEN Newsletter for June 26, 2015

AAS Committee on the Status of Women AAS Committee on the Status of Women

Issue of June 26, 2015
eds: Daryl Haggard, Nicolle Zellner, Meredith Hughes, & Elysse Voyer

This week's issues:

1. Beginnings of the Women's Rights Movement

2. Funding diversity efforts

3. Confronting My Own Racism

4. What are Microaggressions?

5. One Scientist's Approach to the Imposter Syndrome

6. Job Opportunities

7. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

8. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

9. Access to Past Issues


1. Beginnings of the Women's Rights Movement

From: Neil Gehrels via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

The history of the women's rights movement in the US is interesting and I will have a couple of blogs on this topic. You my have heard of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention which is often listed as the first significant event in the feminist movement in the US. Here is what led up to the meeting and what came to pass there.

I believe there were two key developments in the mid-1800's that led to Seneca Falls, namely the abolitionist movement and steady pressure from the Quakers. The Quakers, or Religious Society of Friends, were founded in the 1600's in England and had a fundamental belief in the dignity of all people. They were persecuted in England, but flourished in the US. Although many Quakers owned slaves through the 1700's, there were early members who spoke out against the practice. The message slowly got through and by the late 1700's most northern states had outlawed the practice. Many of the notable meetings and events in the US abolitionist movement were organized or motivated by Quakers.

Read more at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2015/06/beginnings-of-womens-reights-movement.html

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2. Funding diversity efforts

From: Ed Bertschinger via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Last year several major tech companies released data revealing their lack of workplace diversity compared with the general population. This year three of the best-known companies have committed substantial funding to increasing the numbers and success of women and underrepresented minorities in their firms and in the industry as a whole. This is a major experiment worth following by the astronomy community. Not only do the tech companies employ many people who started in astronomy, but those of us in academia can learn from what works in an industry facing similar challenges to our own.

Read more at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2015/06/funding-diversity-efforts.html

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3. Confronting My Own Racism

From: Jessica Kirkpatrick via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

I am a white woman, and I have spent most of my life not thinking about race. Not in a "we live in a post-racial America" type of way, but just that on an everyday level it didn't really come up that much. Of course when something overtly racist happened, I would notice and be upset by it. I knew that people of color (POC) are underrepresented in STEM, I thought this was a bad thing, and I wanted to increase the number of underrepresented minorities (URM) in Astronomy and Physics. But overall, race and racism was an occasional thought that would briefly come to my mind, and then quickly leave.

Read more at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2015/06/confronting-my-own-racism.html

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4. What are Microaggressions?

From: Jessica Kirkpatrick via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

This past week I attended the Inclusive Astronomy conference in Nashville and there was an incredible talk by Kenjus Watson about microaggressions. This term gets brought up frequently in feminist and equity conversations, but a lot of people I've talked to don't really understand what it means, or how microaggressions manifest in everyday life. In fact, I was guilty of one of the microaggressions that Mr. Watson highlighted, when I recently asked a trans* woman what the trans* community thought about Caitlin Jenner's transition.

Read more at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2015/06/what-are-microaggressions.html

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5. One Scientist's Approach to the Imposter Syndrome

From: Aomawa Shields [ashields_at_astro.ucla.edu]

I recently found myself in the airport waiting to board a plane back home from a conference. While shoveling down a mandarin chicken salad standing up at the crowded gate, I noticed a man who seemed to be lurking nearby. When it was clear that his behavior was not random, I decided to raise my head from my salad and confront his gaze directly. I recognized his face instantly. He was my freshman year physics professor. He had been trying to confirm that I was who he thought I was. When I lifted my head and met his eyes, then heard his single, half-finished question, ("Are you, by any chance...?"), and answered ("Oh my goodness, hello!"), the matter was settled.

Memories of regularly going to this professor's office two decades ago for help came rushing back to me as we talked: How he told me once that if I went on the class trip to my academic adviser's cabin for the weekend with the rest of my seminar group I would most likely fail the mechanics exam we were having that Monday; how I'd listened and obeyed, and lived in the library the entire weekend. I'd ended up scoring a full standard deviation above the class average on that exam. But I'd worked so hard for it. It seemed that I'd had to work hard at everything I'd achieved in the sciences. It hadn't come easily. Not since junior high. Did that mean that I wasn't cut out for it?

Read more at

http://variablestargirl.com/2015/06/21/one-scientists-approach-to-the-imposter-syndrome

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6. 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

- Visiting Assistant Professor of Astronomy, Amherst College https://www.amherst.edu/system/files/astronomy_search.pdf

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7. 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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8. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

Join AAS Women List by email:

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9. Access to Past Issues

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

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to aaswlist+unsubscribe@aas.org.

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