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Early Career Mothers in Astronomy

Astronomoms

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, early career (non-tenured) parents working in science encountered the impossible situation of working from home while also caring for children. This has led to significant differences in the career output of parents of children under 13 and especially mothers.

In July 2020, Melinda Soares-Furtado began the online astronomoms coffee series and support group with the original goal of offering support and reducing the feelings of isolation and impostor syndrome in our minority group.

In 2021, I joined Melinda as a co-organizer as we moved more toward career support and sharing the stories of invited speakers; astronomoms who made it to permanent positions.

Now that lockdowns are no longer commonplace, we are moving to a position of support and validation while creating a guideline document for government bodies with a goal of improving the working conditions for mothers in astronomy.

We are currently running a survey with guidance from Jessica Degol (PSU), specifically for moms/parents in astronomy to help understand whether there is a differences in our struggles based on different identity factors and how things were different before, during, and after COVID-19 lockdowns.

Update: we have now concluded the survey and we're working on writing up the results! I will be presenting about Astronomoms and our survey at the IAU General Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa this August.

 

If you are also an early career mother in astronomy and would like to be part of our group, please email me or Melinda for information about joining.

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