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Women in Astronomy

CSWA Success Stories and Future Challenges

13 Apr 2015, 13:18 UTC
CSWA Success Stories and Future Challenges
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Recent data on demographics and conversations with my NSF colleague, Lisa Frehill, opened my eyes to a somewhat surprising fact. Young women in astronomy (assistant professors, postdocs, students) from some racial and ethnic backgrounds (white and Asian) may have reached parity with their percentages in the US population! The STATUS magazine article, the 2013 CSWA Demographics Survey, was open on my computer screen. In particular, Figure 1 shows that percentages of women at the level of assistant professor and younger are about 30% (within uncertainties). These percentages are similar to those described in the article, The 30% Benchmark: Women in Astronomy Postdocs at US Institutions. According to this article, which was based in part on data gathered by members of the Astro2010 Demographics study group, -Graduate enrollment for women in US astronomy departments has risen from 25% in 1997 to 30% in 2006 (NSF-NIH Survey of Grad Students and Post-docs in S&E).-The percentage of Astronomy PhDs earned by women in the US has increased steadily from less than 20% in 1997 to almost 30% in 2006 (NSF Survey of Earned doctorates).-The success rate of women in both prize fellowships and individual postdocs is about 30%.-The percentage of women faculty at stand-alone astronomy ...

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