ann15026 — Announcement

Women in Astronomy Working Group luncheon meeting
24 August 2015
Women in Astronomy Working Group Pursues Equality in Astronomy

The Women in Astronomy Working Group, which reports directly to the IAU Executive Committee (EC), has been reconfirmed during the first EC meeting of the new triennium, which took place in Honolulu on Saturday 15 August.

On 4 August 2015, during the recent IAU XXIX General Assembly, the Women in Astronomy Working Group (WiA WG) held a luncheon meeting, sponsored by the US National Academy of Science and the IAU. More than 200 people attended (90% being female), close to the maximum capacity.

The report on the activity of the working group and its plan for the triennium were unanimously approved by the EC on 15 August 2015, confirming the continuation of the working group with Francesca Primas as its Chair. Debra Elmegreen, a newly appointed IAU Vice-President, agreed to serve as liaison between the Working Group and the Executive Committee.

The WiA WG seeks to collect statistics on women in astronomy throughout all nations where astronomical research is conducted, and to develop and execute strategies that will help women to attain equality in their field.

The WiA President, Silvia Torres-Peimbert, said, “The fraction of women in the IAU is just below 16%, and has increased very slowly over the last few years. This working group is an important way to work towards an increase in this figure. We must ensure that there are no disadvantages to women astronomers. The working group is open to participation from all members of the IAU and everyone, male or female, is encouraged to join.

Piero Benvenuti, the recently appointed IAU General Secretary, said, “The continuation of the WiA WG is very important for the IAU because it will help the Executive Committee to take actions that aim at full gender equality in the Union. I am particularly happy about the working group’s proposal to collaborate with the Office of Astronomy for Development, which will bring its own expertise on gender issues.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 10 000 professional astronomers from almost 100 countries. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.



Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 761
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621

About the Announcement



Women in Astronomy Working Group luncheon meeting