Francesca Primas (European Southern Observatory - Garching)

Heroes and S-heroes: fostering gendering equality in astronomy
When Apr 20, 2016 from 12:30 PM to 01:30 PM
  • Special Seminar
  • Colloquium
Where SH, Seminar room
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A diverse workforce is key to ensure balanced views, inclusive approaches and in the long run larger economical benefits worldwide. Among the different aspects that make-up diversity, the gender (here, referred generally to men and women) dimension of science and technology has become one of the most important and debated issues worldwide, impacting society at every level. Gender equality at large is one of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which clearly call for action related to science, technology and gender.

Despite many recent efforts and improvements achieved on the status of women in astronomy (such as the Baltimore Charter, the Pasadena Recommendations and the IAU Resolution B4 that was passed at the General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, in 2009), most studies continue to show the same patterns of gender disadvantages, both horizontally (per discipline) and vertically (per seniority level).

Astronomy’s prime international organisation – the International Astronomical Union – has recognized and supported the needs and endeavours of female astronomers through the establishment of an Executive Committee Working Group, at its XXV General Assembly in Sydney, Australia (July 2003). An Organising Committee (OC) of typically 10-16 persons manages the activities of the WG.

The mandate of the IAU Working Group on Women in Astronomy is to collect information, propose measures and initiate actions in support of, or to advance equality of opportunity for achievement between women and men in astronomy, in the IAU and in the world at large. I will report on what this WG has achieved so far and what the planned activities are for the next couple of years.