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Leadership, Role Models . . . and Captain Kathryn Janeway(?)

27 May 2015, 13:40 UTC
Leadership, Role Models . . . and Captain Kathryn Janeway(?)
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The January 2015 issue of CSWA's STATUS Magazine includes an article entitled, “Senior Women Moving into Leadership Positions: Has ADVANCE Affected Junior and Senior Women Scientists Differently?” by Sue V. Rosser, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at San Francisco State University. Part of the article describes responses to a survey question, “In your opinion, what changes in institutional policies and practices are most useful for facilitating careers of academic women scientists or engineers at the senior level?” The only response that got much traction was, “Training for leadership.” I agree that training is an important, perhaps most important, component for leadership. I can think of another one, however, that doesn’t appear to have made the list: Role Models. This is one component of astronomical life that I, unfortunately, was not able to benefit from during the early stages of my career. When I was an undergrad at an engineering school, I knew other undergrad women but no women grad students, postdocs, or professors. When I was a grad student at a state university, I knew other women grad students but no women post docs or professors. When I was a postdoc, I finally started to become aware of senior ...

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