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Women in Canadian Astronomy: 2000-2005. Brenda C. Matthews (HIA) Michael A. Reid (SMA). Goals of the Surveys. The purpose of this survey is to track the representation of women in Canadian astronomy at all levels of education, academia, industry and in observatories/laboratories.

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women in canadian astronomy 2000 2005

Women in Canadian Astronomy:2000-2005

Brenda C. Matthews (HIA)

Michael A. Reid (SMA)

goals of the surveys
Goals of the Surveys
  • The purpose of this survey is to track the representation of women in Canadian astronomy at all levels of education, academia, industry and in observatories/laboratories.
  • Data requested of all major university institutions, research institutes (CITA & HIA) and community colleges with physics programs

Women in Canadian Astronomy

summary of 10 year survey 2000
Summary of 10-year Survey (2000)
  • First comprehensive survey of demographics of Canadian astronomical community
  • Statistics include only about 50% of the community
  • Found women were under-represented at all levels of Canadian astronomy
    • Some trends of improvement in averages in two five-year average periods
  • Results biased toward middle-sized and small departments due to absence of responses of several large departments (17 respondents of 23 depts)

Women in Canadian Astronomy

motivation for a 2 nd survey
Motivation for a 2nd Survey
  • Continuity of data
  • Include more departments
    • many large departments did not participate in 2000 survey
  • Record incoming graduate students as well as graduands
    • Can eventually track attrition from graduate programs by gender

Women in Canadian Astronomy

an online survey
An Online Survey
  • Institutions asked to provide number of male and female personnel in 12 categories:
    • Full professors (full and part time)
    • Associate professors (full and part time)
    • Assistant professors (full and part time)
    • Other (e.g., research staff)
    • Postdocs
    • Incoming and graduated PhD and MSc students

Women in Canadian Astronomy

compiled data
Compiled Data
  • Used only data where categories have entries for all six years

University of Alberta, Augustana campus

University of British Columbia

University of Calgary

University College of the Fraser Valley

University of Guelph

University of Lethbridge

University of Manitoba

University of New Brunswick

University of Northern BC

University of Ottawa

University of PEI

University of Toronto

University of Victoria

University of Western Ontario

Acadia University

Brandon University

Cape Breton University

Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics

Concordia University

Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics

Laval University

McGill University

McMaster University

Mount Allison University

Royal Military College

Sherbrooke University

Trent University


Women in Canadian Astronomy

results faculty
Results: Faculty
  • Little change over 5 years in the number or fraction of positions held by women


53 53 56 57 57 54

Women in Canadian Astronomy

number of positions has doubled
Number of positions has doubled
  • Total number of positions has doubled
  • 15-35% held by women, but highly variable

12 13 14 14 20 25

Women in Canadian Astronomy

significant number of new hires
Significant Number of New Hires!
  • Increase in number of positions overall
  • 25-35% of positions held by women, but variable

15 18 18 22 27 24

Women in Canadian Astronomy

summary faculty
Summary: Faculty
  • Recent hires and advancements indicate that 30% have gone to women in the past 5 years
    • This is equivalent to the fraction of women at assistant and associate levels (combined)
  • Note that in general, MORE positions at assistant and associate faculty levels, but fractional representation of hires of women remains at  30%

Women in Canadian Astronomy

results postdoctoral fellows
Results: Postdoctoral Fellows

10-17 % representation by women

VERY significant increase in total number of postdocs in Canada

44 47 53 71 72 77

Women in Canadian Astronomy

master s degree programs
Master’s Degree Programs

19 18 24 21 40 32

8 16 15 12 14 22

Women in Canadian Astronomy

doctoral programs
Doctoral Programs

13 16 21 19 25 32

5 7 13 8 14 14

Women in Canadian Astronomy

improvements 5 year averages
Improvements (5 year averages)

Women in Canadian Astronomy

next steps
Next Steps…
  • complete the dataset for the current survey
    • Five-year averages cannot be used if only one or two most recent years are included as biases are introduced
  • Refine website and request information annually

Women in Canadian Astronomy