Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Cross-post: Affecting Change in the Local and Global Astronomical Communities

By the Women in Astronomy Forum at STScI

Several members of the WIAF at a
virtual meeting in November 2020.
The Women in Astronomy Forum is a self-organized group of women scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute who have research time as a contractual agreement. We welcome cis-women, trans-women and non-binary people who feel comfortable in a space centered on the experiences of women. Our goals are to provide support and mentoring to others in the group, and to advocate for more inclusive and equitable practices both within the institute and more broadly in the astronomical community. In this article, we introduce ourselves and some of our recent initiatives, including: concrete recommendations to improve diversity in conferences, and specific guidelines for improving diversity on committees and activities coordinated by STScI, analysis of long-term trends in the astronomical work force, and unconscious bias in astronomy. We hope that other institutions can use these guidelines and recommendations to improve their own practices. We also hope that our experience can help others to form similar groups, and we offer some advice and resources through our website.


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