Wednesday, April 29, 2020

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine Symposium on Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in STEMM

On March 19 the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a one day long, online Symposium on Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine). The purpose of the Symposium was to share the results and key findings of a recent study aimed at addressing the underrepresentation of women in STEMM. The study was jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and L’Oreal USA.

While many such studies and reports have recently been undertaken, this report differs in that it places a strong emphasis on understanding the issues of intersectionality – i.e. those issues that are particular to women of color or women holding some additional underrepresented identity.

The report is broken down into six chapters that address the following questions: What is the problem? (Chapters 1 and 2), What are possible solutions? (Chapters 3 and 4), Why don’t we see more progress? (Chapter 5), and What can be done to open doors for women in STEMM? (Chapter 6). The committee’s recommendations are “grouped into four broad categories, which are targeted at incentivizing and informing the broad adoption of evidence-based promising practices for improving the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in science, engineering, and medicine: 1) Driving transparency and accountability, 2) Adopting data-driven approaches to address underrepresentation of women in STEMM, 3) Rewarding, recognizing, and resourcing equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts, and 4) Filling knowledge gaps.”

The full report can be found at:, with an option for free PDF download.

The Symposium website, containing the agenda as well as speaker bios, can be found at:

The video recording of the symposium can be found at:

Friday, April 24, 2020

AASWomen Newsletter for April 24, 2020

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of April 24, 2020
eds: JoEllen McBride, Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Maria Patterson, and Alessandra Aloisi

[We hope you all are taking care of yourselves and each other. --eds.]

This week's issues:

1. 3 Tips for Women Faculty to Get Through #WFH, #socialdistancing, and #stayingwell
2. Anticipated NASA Job Announcement: Astrophysics Program Scientist  
3. Why Do Women Make Such Good Leaders During COVID-19?
4. No Room of One's Own
5. Even More Ways to Help Librarians and Archivists From Home
6. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
7. Betty Shannon, Unsung Mathematical Genius
8. Overlooked No More: Eunice Foote, Climate Scientist Lost to History
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 of the AASWomen Newsletter

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

3 Tips for Women Faculty to Get Through #WFH, #socialdistancing, and #stayingwell

By Vicki L. Baker

Recently, my opinion piece titled, "How Colleges Can Better Help Faculty during the Pandemic", appeared in Inside HigherEd*. I felt called to write that article as both a faculty member who is looking for support and as someone who is deeply engaged in faculty development research and practice. We, as academics and everyday citizens, find ourselves in strange times that can be described as chaotic, yet oddly calming at the same time. I say that as we see the first signs of spring surface (at least in the Midwest) letting us know that the world around us continues to move on as we compel ourselves to do the same. Yet, we are finding ourselves in unchartered waters, seeking to survive and make sense of our new normal, professional and personal, while trying to guess what life may look like moving forward.

As a woman academic, with two school-aged children now at home, I am faced with (1) supporting my students at Albion College academically and emotionally at a distance (2) fulfilling my professional roles and responsibilities to the best of my abilities, (3) supporting my kids’ educational achievement (with school closed for the remainder of the year) (4) contributing to my scholarly endeavors (many with looming deadlines), and (5) managing the emotional labor that accompanies all of these responsibilities at work and home. Oh, and don’t forget the need to be active and maintain some semblance of health in the process. I am fortunate to have a spouse who can help manage some of this (though he is still physically going to work during this time with flexible hours). But I know many women academics who are doing this alone with no childcare assistance. To say it’s overwhelming is an understatement. To that end, I offer the below advice and recommendations that are helping me and my fellow academic women peers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Two Body-Problem Series: Navigating the Move

Credit: Tod Strohmayer (GSFC), CXC, NASA
Illustration: Dana Berry (CXC)
This entry in the two-body problem series is an account of one person’s experience navigating the academic track with their partner. For context, the people in the relationship are cisgender and heterosexual. If you would like to contribute your own story to this series, please contact us at wia-blog at When did you and your partner meet? What are your backgrounds (educational, social, cultural, etc., for context)?

We met in college, in the first few days after freshman orientation. We grew up in different regions of the same US west coast state. We're both white with college-educated parents. Our first interaction was when I asked if he had a car and could drive two friends and me to the store! He kindly agreed, but we wouldn't date for over a year after that. He was two years ahead of me, and majored in engineering; I majored in physics.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Cross-post: E. Margaret Burbidge, Astronomer Who Blazed Trails on Earth, Dies at 100

By Margaret Fox

E. Margaret Burbidge, an astrophysicist who made pathbreaking findings about the state of the cosmos, not the least of which was discovering precisely what it entailed to succeed as a woman in a male-dominated universe at midcentury, died on Sunday at her home in San Francisco. She was 100.

Her daughter, Sarah Burbidge, said the cause was complications from a fall.

A native of England who worked largely in the United States, Dr. Burbidge built a career that was stellar in both senses. She was considered one of the foremost astronomers in the world, long regarded as a trailblazer for women in the field.


Check out our post from her 100th birthday and feel free to share your memories of Dr. Burbidge in the comments below!