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Women in Astronomy

Making Our Workplace a Place of... Work

28 Oct 2015, 19:00 UTC
Making Our Workplace a Place of... Work
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

I have been thinking recently on how different my perception of my workplace is from the one experienced by many of my junior colleagues who are women.For myself and (I think) most of my senior male colleagues, the Observatory is exclusively a place of work. I type on my computer. I discuss ideas with colleagues. I participate in committees. I attend seminars. OK, that's sounding awfully dry! But of course it isn't dry at all: Many of my colleagues are also friends, and over coffee, lunches, and hallway conversations, I take joy in their company as we work together on astronomy and the general educational mission of an academic department.However, for many of the junior women in our department, I worry that the Observatory isn't just a place of work. Yes, they also type on their computers, discuss ideas with colleagues, and attend seminars. But, some of them tell me, they need to become adept at dealing with occasional amorous advances (I'm using amorous here as it appears in the policy I'll discuss below.) Sometimes these are from their academic peers, and, yes, sometimes these originate from those who are higher up on the academic ladder. For these junior colleagues, ...

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