CfAlogo CfA Women in Science

  • This is an informal group of women scientists and graduate students at CfA who meet more or less monthly to discuss topics of mutual interest. These topics might include career paths, work-family issues, research problems, parenting, politics, rewards, salaries, advisors, mentors, promotions, policies ... etc. - whatever the group wants to bring up.
  • To communicate with this group, email cfawis@cfa

  • WIS-Chats, located here!

Current Meetings and Links

  • Wednesday, April 30, 2014, Pratt Conference Room 1:30 pm: From Passion to Action Stephanie Sonnabend, Co-founder and Chair of 2020 Women on Boards, (see will give a seminar discussing a six step process to create a personal strategic plan to advance your career. Her bio can be found linked here!

  • Tuesday, March 11, 2014, Room B-105 (note change of room) 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: The CSWA Demographics Survey: Portrait of a Generation of Women in Astronomy, Meredith Hughes, Assistant Professor of Astronomy, Wesleyan University

  • Thursday, February 6, 2014, Pratt Conference Room 12:30 pm: Improving Departmental Climate for Women and for Everyone Professor Ed Bertschinger, Chair MIT Department of Physics, Community and Equity Officer at MIT

    I will describe the new CSWA Climate Site Visit program (with the hope that CfA will be an early participant), along with some initiatives we’re undertaking at MIT. One of the most useful diagnostic tools I’ve found is the Wisconsin Climate Brochure, which is attached here. – it would be useful to read it before the Thursday lunch. I’m happy for any special requests, too – my perspectives have been broadened through my new role as Community and Equity Officer for all MIT.

  • Tuesday, August 13, 2013, Pratt Conference Room NOON: Unconscious Bias, Sterotype Threat, and Imposter Syndrome Professor Joan Schmelz, Chair, AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) and Department of Physics, University of Memphis

    Women and other underrepresented groups in astronomy can face a powerful combination of hidden obstacles. With unconscious bias, men and women both unconsciously devalue the contributions of women. This can have a detrimental effect on grant proposals, job applications, and performance reviews. Stereotype threat is the anxiety women face in a situation where they have the potential to confirm a negative stereotype about women as a group. This anxiety alone can result in documented cases of lower scores on standardized math tests. Highly competent women may also face impostor syndrome where they find it impossible to believe in their own competence. They live with a fear of being discovered. I will discuss these issues in the context of the AAUW report entitled, Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Joan's presentation (pdf) is linked here!

  • Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Pratt Conference Room 12:30 pm: Careers in Astronomy Come for an informal discussion on Career stages in astronomy. Astronomers at the CfA will present brief talks, leaving plenty of time for questions and discussion.
    Career stages, AKA Adjustments
    Graduate Student: Courtney Dressing
    Post Doc: Esra Bulbul
    Career and Family: Ruth Murray-Clay
    Long-term: Nancy Brickhouse (Things I Never Expected to be Doing)

  • Friday, July 12, 2013, Pratt Conference Room 12:30 pm: LEAN IN Come for a discussion of LEAN IN by Sheryl Sandberg. Copies of the book have been obtained by the CfA Library.

  • Tuesday, June 11, 2013, Pratt Conference Room 12:30 pm: WHY WOMEN STILL CAN'T HAVE IT ALL Professor Alicia Soderberg, Chair of the CfA Gender Equity Committee will lead a discussion of the article by Anne Marie Slaughter based on her experience at the State Department. Her article, printed in The Atlantic can be found here.

  • Programs for 2008-2012 can be found here.

  • Programs for 2007-2008 (Semester 1 and 2) can be found here.

  • Programs for 2006-2007 (Semester 1 and 2) can be found here.

  • Programs for 2005 can be found here.

  • Last modified on 15 July 2013.
    Comments or Questions? Contact dupree@cfa