Friday, April 29, 2016

AASWomen Newsletter for April 29, 2016

AAS Committee on the Status of Women AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of April 29, 2016
eds: Daryl Haggard, Nicolle Zellner, Elysse Voyer, & Heather Flewelling

This week's issues:

1. The Discovery Program Series: VERITAS (PI: Sue Smrekar, Managed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

2. Student Highlight: Katy Rodriguez Wimberly

3. How to Explain Mansplaining

4. Speak up about subtle sexism in science

5. Author Eileen Pollack: Lack of Encouragement Impacts Women’s Decisions in STEM

6. If There’s Only One Woman in Your Candidate Pool, There’s Statistically No Chance She’ll Be Hired

7. Pioneering Astronomer Vera Rubin on Women in Science, Dark Matter, and Our Never-Ending Quest to Know the Universe

8. How The Rhetoric of Imposter Syndrome Is Used to Gaslight Women in Tech

9. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

10. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

11. Access to Past Issues


1. The Discovery Program Series: VERITAS (PI: Sue Smrekar, Managed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
From Christina Richey via http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

This post is part of a series discussing the recent NASA Discovery Program mission selections for further refinement. From the 27 proposals submitted in November of 2014, NASA has selected 5 missions for further refinement in the next year. Part 1 of the series focused on the overview of the Discovery refinement selections and an interview with the Lead Program Scientist for the Discovery Program, Dr. Michael New. Part II focussed on the Psyche Mission (PI: Linda Elkins-Tanton, Arizona State University, Managed by JPL). Part III will focus on the NEOCam Mission (PI: Amy Mainzer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Managed by JPL). Part IV will focus on the Lucy Mission (PI: Hal Levison, Southwest Research Institute, Managed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center). Part V will focus on the DAVINCI Mission (PI: Lori Glaze, Managed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center). Part VI will focus on the VERITAS Mission (PI: Sue Smrekar, Managed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory).

Read more

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-discovery-program-series-veritas-pi.html

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2. Student Highlight: Katy Rodriguez Wimberly
From Heather Flewelling [heather_at_ifa.hawaii.edu]

By Jorge Moreno

Katy Rodriguez Wimberly is currently a Master’s student at the California State University, Long Beach and will be taking a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to University of California, Irvine in Fall 2016 to study galaxy evolution. She earned her Physics BS from Cal State Long Beach where she became an inaugural UC-CSU Cal-Bridge Scholar.

Katy is the first in her family to pursue a graduate degree and is a Southern California Native. Additionally, she loves and conducts astronomy outreach with underrepresented minorities, focusing primarily on K-12 Special Needs students (including children on the Autism Spectrum and those with Down’s Syndrome).

This interview is part of a series of posts on the Astronomy In Color blog dedicated to recognizing achievements by outstanding astronomers of color. Feel free to contact Jorge Moreno (jorgemoreno AT cpp.edu) if you know any other person of color in astronomy who has recently won an award or made any other accomplishment.

Read more

http://astronomyincolor.blogspot.com/2016/04/student-highlight-katy-rodriguez.html

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3. How to Explain Mansplaining
From Meg Urry [meg.urry_at_yale.edu]

by Julia Baird

SYDNEY, Australia — It was on a recent trip to Indonesia that, as a male bureaucrat sounded forth on a vast span of subjects without being asked to do so, I realized that the English language was in need of a new addition: the manologue. This otherwise perfectly charming man droned on and on, issuing a steady stream of words as I sat cramped in a tiny room with a group of fellow journalists and squinted at the labels on the soda cans hospitably placed on a table in front of us.

Finally, I deciphered the words “HERBAL — TO RELEASE TRAPPED WIND.” After several minutes during which I silently prayed none of my colleagues would reach for a drink, the official at last uttered the words, “Now, to answer your question.”

So why did we get so many words between the question asked and the answer given? Why were they spoken at all? And how can you stem such extraneous, long-winded trains of thought? How can you politely say to a prolix associate, as a TV host might: “We’re almost out of time; can you keep this short?”

Read more

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/21/opinion/how-to-explain-mansplaining.html?src=twr&_r=0

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4. Speak up about subtle sexism in science
From Madeleine Anthonisen [madeleine.anthonisen_at_mail.mcgill.ca]

by Tricia Serio

Of all the questions I have been asked in my scientific career, perhaps the most troubling came from a former department head when I told him I was expecting my second child. “Was it planned?” he asked. Related stories

I had not yet secured tenure and took his remark to suggest that I was not committed to my career.

While I inwardly seethed at his assumption, I did not challenge it. Instead, like many women, I manoeuvre around such awkward and frequently offensive situations. In fact, at a women-in-science event at which I spoke, the organizer began by sharing strategies to change the subject when faced with inappropriate comments. But why should we? When such techniques are recommended as a form of professional development, enough is enough.

Read more

http://www.nature.com/news/speak-up-about-subtle-sexism-in-science-1.19829?WT.mc_id=TWT_NatureNews

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5. Author Eileen Pollack: Lack of Encouragement Impacts Women’s Decisions in STEM
From Heather Flewelling [heather_at_ifa.hawaii.edu]

By Amy Golod

As a high school student, Eileen Pollack taught herself calculus because, as a girl, she was forbidden to enroll in the school’s advanced science and math courses. A member of Yale’s Class of 1978, she was one of the university’s first two women to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in physics. A professor of creative writing at the University of Michigan, Pollack is also an author of fiction and nonfiction, including “The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boys’ Club.”

Pollack, who will be a panelist at the U.S. News STEM Solutions Conference on May 18, spoke to U.S. News about gender bias in STEM. (The interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

Read more

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-04-28/author-eileen-pollack-lack-of-encouragement-impacts-womens-academic-career-decisions-in-stem

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6. If There’s Only One Woman in Your Candidate Pool, There’s Statistically No Chance She’ll Be Hired
From Heather Flewelling [heather_at_ifa.hawaii.edu]

by Stefanie K. Johnson, David R. Hekman, and Elsa T. Chan

There are more CEOs of large U.S. companies who are named David (4.5%) than there are CEOs who are women (4.1%) — and David isn’t even the most common first name among CEOs. (That would be John, at 5.3%.)

Despite the ever-growing business case for diversity, roughly 85% of board members and executives are white men. This doesn’t mean that companies haven’t tried to change. Many have started investing hundreds of millions of dollars on diversity initiatives each year. But the biggest challenge seems to be figuring out how to overcome unconscious biases that get in the way of these well-intentioned programs. We recently conducted research that suggests a potential solution.

It’s well known that people have a bias in favor of preserving the status quo; change is uncomfortable. So because 95% of CEOs are white men, the status quo bias can lead board members to unconsciously prefer to hire more white men for leadership roles.

Read more

https://hbr.org/2016/04/if-theres-only-one-woman-in-your-candidate-pool-theres-statistically-no-chance-shell-be-hired?utm_campaign=HBR&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

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7. Pioneering Astronomer Vera Rubin on Women in Science, Dark Matter, and Our Never-Ending Quest to Know the Universe
From Heather Flewelling [heather_at_ifa.hawaii.edu]

by Maria Popova

When trailblazing astronomer Maria Mitchell was hired to teach at the newly established Vassar College in 1865, she was the only woman on the faculty and according to the original college handbook of rules, female students were not allowed to go outside after dark. Although Mitchell fought to upend this absurd obstruction to the study of astronomy and became a tireless champion of young women in the field, lamentably little changed in the century that followed.

Exactly one hundred years later, another remarkable observer of the cosmos ushered in a new era both for astronomy itself and for women’s role in it. In 1965, astronomer Vera Rubin (b. July 23, 1928) became the first woman permitted to observe at the Palomar Observatory, home to the most powerful telescopes at the time. So began her pioneering work on galaxy rotation, which precipitated Rubin’s confirmation of the existence of dark matter — one of the most significant milestones in our understanding of the universe. (That Rubin hasn’t yet received a Nobel Prize is a testament to the systemic flaws in how these accolades are meted out.)

Read more

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/04/18/vera-rubin-interview-women-in-science

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8. How The Rhetoric of Imposter Syndrome Is Used to Gaslight Women in Tech
From Kelly Blumenthal [blumenthal.kelly_at_gmail.com]

by Alexis Handcock

The overwhelming focus on imposter syndrome doesn’t provide a space to process the power dynamics affecting you; you get gaslighted into thinking it’s *you* causing all the problems. A few weeks ago, I attended an event in my borough of the Bronx featuring a panel of brilliant women in technology. They explained how they created their careers, applications, start ups, and websites. I was pleased that it was mainly a panel of women of color, from all different walks of life.

At one point, an audience member asked the panelists how they persevere through their struggles as women in tech. Their advice: don’t let naysayers keep you from reaching your goals and dreams, ignore the haters and stay focused on personal motivation, not external forces. I had a deep visceral reaction in that moment: I’m happy that I, too, have persevered as a Black woman in tech… but it came with a price. I wondered how many more of us could have been sitting on that panel, if there weren’t so many standing in our way.

Read more

https://modelviewculture.com/pieces/how-the-rhetoric-of-imposter-syndrome-is-used-to-gaslight-women-in-tech

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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.

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10. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

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11. 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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