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Inside a historic trip to Antarctica, crewed by over 100 women scientists
Since 2007, Michaela Musilová has dreamt of visiting Antarctica. As an astrobiologist, she has two goals: To identify the limits of life on Earth and to assess the possibility that life as we know it exists elsewhere in the universe. Researching how life behaves in the extreme environment of Antarctica is key for her work; microbes that manage to survive the frozen environment at the end of our world could teach us a lot about their potential beyond Earth, too. Over the years, Musilová has tried a dozen times to set sail to the southernmost continent, but it never worked out. It wasn't because her mission proposals were lacking, she says. "Unfortunately, most of the time it was because an older male colleague or professor didn't want to let me go or took my place," she recalled in an interview with Space.com. Women have worked in Antarctica only since the late 1970s, prior to which they were officially banned by countries that organized research programs on the continent. Apparently, "the rigors of the continent were too great for the women and the rigors of providing separate bathroom facilities were too great for the program administrators." On her 12th attempt, the analog astronaut and former director of the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) habitat is now onboard a cruise ship on her way to Antarctica at last, with over 100 women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
Posted on 28 Nov 2023
NASA’s Sandra Irish Wins 2023 Society of Women Engineers Award
Sandra Irish, mechanical systems lead structures engineer for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, has been selected to receive the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Resnik Challenger Medal Award for her visionary contributions to the development, testing, transport, and launch of NASA’s premier space telescope since 2006. The medal was awarded during the World’s Largest Conference for Women in Engineering and Technology or WE23, which took place Oct. 26-28 in Los Angeles.
Posted on 12 Nov 2023
Volunteer with Aspirations in Computing
Each year, the Aspirations in Computing (AiC) program receives thousands of amazing award applications from women, genderqueer, and non-binary students across the country who are interested in tech. To select recipients of the national and regional awards, volunteers of all experience levels are needed to review and score each submission. It’s a simple and inspiring way to meet and help support the next generation of computer scientists and technologists and increase much-needed diversity within STEM fields! The goal of Aspirations in Computing Recognitions is two-fold: Create a diverse talent discovery pipeline and Build a supportive community nationwide. Volunteers reviewers play a key role in recognizing and encouraging the next generation of technologists, as well as their educators and mentors.
Posted on 12 Nov 2023
Seven Ways YOU Can Help Eliminate the Barriers to Young Women’s Participation in Computing
Participation in K-12 computing classes and activities can help students discover an interest in computing and develop confidence in their ability to succeed in a tech career. But at many schools, young women are underrepresented in computing programs, and in 2017, only 23 percent of AP Computer Science test-takers were female (www.ncwit.org/bythenumbers). A track record of positive experiences in high school (and earlier) can prepare women students to pursue a technical degree, while a lack of prior exposure can contribute to lower retention rates for women in college computing programs. What can we do to help make K-12 computing opportunities more accessible, relevant, and inclusive for young women? You don’t have to be a parent or a teacher to be concerned about young women’s access to the important opportunities provided by K-12 computing education. Fortunately, there are plenty of things that ANYONE can do to help dismantle the barriers to women’s meaningful participation in computing.
Posted on 12 Nov 2023
Measuring the Impact of DEI Initiatives; November 16 at 12 p.m. ET.
To ensure organizations drive meaningful change, tracking the impact of DEI programs is essential, however, organizations must move beyond recruitment statistics or the number of people trained. Is your organization retaining diverse employees? Are you advancing them? What has worked? What challenges are you facing?
This executive roundtable is a chance for deeper discussion among C-suite and HR/DEI leaders who have responsibilities to develop and implement workplace culture, employee engagement, and productivity strategies to support for all their employees. Possible discussion points include: Qualitative vs. Quantitative: Exploring the balance between numerical data and qualitative stories to gain a comprehensive understanding; Long-Term Effects: Recognizing that the impact of DEI initiatives may take time and understanding the factors contributing to delayed effects; Measurement Bias: Acknowledging the potential biases in data collection and interpretation and strategies to address and minimize them; Evaluating Success: Exploring the criteria and perspectives for assessing the success of DEI initiatives – from the viewpoint of underrepresented employees, DEI practitioners, and senior leaders. The goal is to create a safe space for leaders across businesses to have meaningful conversations, share frustrations, and learn from each other’s successes and challenges.
Posted on 30 Oct 2023
C3E Webinar Series
The C3E webinar series provides a forum to hear the latest on clean energy topics from women who are making a difference. The goal of the quarterly webinars is to highlight the outstanding work of clean energy professionals in various fields and to foster discussion around clean energy opportunities and solutions. Get to know the work of today’s leaders, including C3E Ambassadors and recent Awardees, by participating in an upcoming webinar, followed by a discussion session, allowing participants to ask the speakers questions, share their own ideas and experiences, engage in conversation, and network with other clean energy professionals.
Posted on 30 Oct 2023
Addressing Harassment in STEM at the Systemic Level
AWIS is a founding member of the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM which was formed in response to the 2018 NASEM report on the persistent issue of sexual harassment in STEM. The consortium’s mission is to address harassment in all its forms and intersectionalities. Joanne Kamens is currently serving as AWIS’s representative to the Societies Consortium Leadership Council and recently attended the 5th annual convening of the Consortium along with Meredith Gibson, CEO of AWIS. The convening was hosted by the American Geophysical Union and included a diverse representation of society leadership, academic senior administration, DEI knowledge experts, funder representatives and early career voices. The convening had a very timely theme – Advancing the Future of STEMM: Transforming the Threat of Gender/Race DEI Retrenchment into an Opportunity for Systemic Change – and was guided by three objectives: Defang DEI backlash - Societies will consider their role in catalyzing ecosystem-wide progress toward gender and intersecting racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEMM; Explore strategies for how societies individually, and through the Consortium, can empower graduate student and early-career leaders of marginalized gender and race, to advance a future of STEMM equity, ethics, and excellence; Continue to focus on courageous, transformative, and ethical leadership – and how to pivot from principles to policies to concrete and sustainable action, advancing gender and intersecting racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. The keynote by Holden Thorp, Editor-In-Chief of the Science Family of Journals was moderated by the amazing Shirley Malcom, SEA Change Director AAAS and Consortium Co-Vice Chair. It was inspiring to hear these leaders talk bluntly and openly about the lack of diversity, equity and inclusion in our academic science infrastructure and their calls for change.
Posted on 30 Oct 2023
Delta hopes all-female flight to NASA will inspire next generation of women aviators
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Delta celebrated women in aviation Friday with their seventh annual WING, or Women Inspiring our Next Generation, Flight What made the flight from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Florida so special is that everyone on board, nose to tail, was a woman. The pilot, the flight crew, gate agents and even the ground crew were all women. “This inspires me to be a pilot of color,” Leslie Santoseega, a Morrow High School student, said. ″I come from immigrant parents. So, for me to be an actual citizen to take these opportunities. I have to take the most I can of these opportunities.” The more than 130 young women passengers are metro Atlanta middle and high school students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Along with showing young aviation enthusiasts that the sky is the limit, Delta ultimately hopes WING will help close the gender gap in a male-dominated industry.
Posted on 09 Oct 2023
Google Technical Program Manager Terysa Ridgeway To Make Coding Fun With The Launch Of An Educational Toy Robot For Children
The desire to educate the next generation is in Terysa Ridgeway’s DNA. Her parents were teachers. She recalls during the summer months living in Louisiana, her mother would bring home a computer. At the time, Ridgeway was just 7 years old and had an inquisitive spirit. “She gave me the opportunity to figure out how to turn it on,” Ridgeway, now 39, told AFROTECH. “Nowadays, a 6 or 7-year-old plugging something into an outlet is probably unheard of. But I mean from everything from plugging it in, to turning it on, to figuring out how to work on it was like all up to me. And I feel that retrospectively looking at it now as a mother, that was probably the best thing she could have done because like I was building problem-solving skills.” The fire Ridgeway felt during those summer months continues to burn in her as a technical program manager at Google. She also is the author of children’s series “Terysa Solves It,” written to expose young girls to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) pathways.
Posted on 09 Oct 2023
A call to cite Black women and gender minorities
Theoretical astrophysicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein recently unveiled the Cite Black Women+ in Physics and Astronomy Bibliography. As a graduate student, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein knew she was on track to become the first Black woman, at least as far as she is aware, to earn tenure in either theoretical cosmology or particle physics theory. She accomplished that goal this month. In that moment, she says she felt waves of emotion—not of pride, but of grief. “I should have been the 150th, not the first,” she says. A theoretical astrophysicist at the University of New Hampshire, Prescod-Weinstein spends her time digging into some of the most fundamental mysteries of our universe, including the nature of dark matter and the aftermath of cosmic inflation. She has also been deeply engaged in an understanding of her own place, and that of other marginalized scholars, in studying the cosmos. Her latest addition to this work is the compilation of every paper ever published by Black women and gender minorities with physics or astronomy PhDs in the United States. Last December, Prescod-Weinstein celebrated the 50th anniversary of the year Willie Hobbs Moore became the first to accomplish this feat by presenting the Cite Black Women+ in Physics and Astronomy Bibliography—a free database intended to change the narrative of whose work gets recognized. That’s paramount in an academic system where the number of times a person’s work is cited is often used as a metric for success. Citations traditionally play a role in who gets hired, who wins fellowships, and who gets awarded research grants.
Posted on 09 Oct 2023

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