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Women in Astronomy 2009

WIA 2009

Women in Astronomy and Space Science 2009:
Meeting the Challenges of an Increasingly Diverse Workforce
Oct 21-23, 2009, College Park, MD

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Today's astronomy and space science workforce has a more diverse population than ever before. Science departments and institutions are populated with individuals from various cultures and backgrounds, a higher percentage of women, and in many cases, up to four generations in the same workplace.

This conference will establish the statistics of the current scientific community and explore strategies for the success of this diverse workforce. We will discuss topics both from the point of view of the individual and that of managers in today's scientific workforce. Some of the topics include: management best practices, work environment factors, early career needs, work life balance, and managing expectations. The aim of this meeting is to provide useful strategies and solutions to all involved in the field — from the youngest members to the more senior managers — focusing on successful practices in the science community.

In addition, there will be a number of networking opportunities for early career scientists to interact with senior scientists and policy makers. Experienced individuals from academia, industry, and institutions will have the chance to share best practices on managing and mentoring a successful and diverse scientific workforce. We will also have invited talks, panel discussions, and breakout sessions on various related topics.

Target Outcomes

Some presentations concentrated on the statistical and research aspects of cultural issues. Others emphasized best practices for successful institutions and the early career scientist. The goal of the conference was to provide individuals and institutions in the sciences with strategies and skills to succeed.

At the conclusion of the conference, those who have attended gained a better understanding and awareness of:

  • How to foster a work environment that promotes success
  • The role of minority-serving institutions in preparing future scientists
  • How professional societies can aid in recruiting, retaining and advancing scientists
  • What it takes to succeed in our competitive workforce
  • The different career path choices in Astronomy and Space Science
  • How to prepare for hiring or for promotion
  • Managing expectations in work life balance

Congresswoman Donna Edwards Addresses WIA 2009

Rep. Donna F. Edwards, Maryland 4th district, delivered the keynote address on Friday, October 23 at the Women in Astronomy and Space Science 2009 Conference. Rep. Donna Edwards Congresswoman Edwards is a member of the House Science and Technology Committee.

  • Your questions about WIA 2009 may be addressed to Diana Khachadourian at
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