2011 WAM

2011 Women in Astronomy Meeting

The second meeting of the ASA Women in Astronomy Chapter was held on 5 July during the 2011 ASA Annual Scientific Meeting in Adelaide.  Rather than a “standard” women in astronomy lunch meeting, the Chapter ran a Speed Meet-a-Mentor session which was attended by over 70 people.

The idea for the meet-a-mentor session came from the Chapter’s Women in Astronomy Workshop held in May 2011 in Sydney, where it was made clear that mentoring is importance during one’s career, and that the guidance and support of mentors is vital in helping women succeed in astronomy.

Mentor and mentees chatted for 4 minutes before moving on to the next person, and spoke to 6 or 7 different people over the course of the session. There were slightly more students that mentors, so some students just sat out for a round or two, while other students paired up and chatted to mentors together.  There were some “conversation starters” up on the screen of the lecture theatre, which helped get people going, though the general vibe in the room was very lively and people clearly had a lot to say. The feedback was positive and the session was fun and worthwhile. Many participants said they would have liked it to have gone longer than the allocated 45 minutes.

Speed meet-a-mentor session at the 2011 ASA ASM. Image: Museum Victoria

Tanya Hill, who co-ordinated the meet-a-mentor session, wrote a blog for MuseumVictoria on the event, which you can read about here.

You can also read the report from the survey of students and postdocs who participated as mentees.