Status Report

Gender Balance and Inclusion Within The Australian Space Community: An Overview Of Delegates At The 2018 Australian Space Research Conference

By SpaceRef Editor
August 2, 2019
Filed under , ,

Eriita G. Jones, Jonathan Horner, Ann Cairns, Wayne Short

(Submitted on 19 Jul 2019 (v1), last revised 31 Jul 2019 (this version, v2))

A significant gender disparity is widely known to occur within the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Women are both under-represented in their participation in Australian STEM education (compared to their fraction within the population at large), and face a much higher attrition rate from STEM subjects throughout secondary and tertiary education. Even within STEM careers the proportion of women frequently generally decreases with increasing position of seniority. In 2015 organisers and members of the Australian Space Research Community began to analyse the data from participants of the Australian Space Research Conference, in order to derive statistics relating to the gender balance of the conference. In this paper, the data from the most recent conference (held on the Gold Coast, in September 2018) is analysed, considering the gender demographics of delegates, presenters (within numerous categories), and awards. This year, we also present the dimensions of career type and academic level of conference attendees. The resulting trends are compared to those of other national space research conferences – the Scientific Meeting of the Astronomical Society of Australia. The results show that the representation of females dropped to the lowest levels since formal data collection began in 2015, with females comprising 23% of conference attendees, and 21% of all session presentations (posters and talks combined). Gender parity was achieved however amongst the invited Plenary presentations. Recommendations for removing some of the barriers to female participation in the conference and encouraging greater gender balance and diversity in future are discussed.

Comments: 13 pages, including appendix; accepted for publication in the peer reviewed proceedings of the 18th Australian Space Research Conference, held at the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, from 24th to 26th September, 2018

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Cite as: arXiv:1907.12358 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1907.12358v2 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Jonathan Horner  

[v1] Fri, 19 Jul 2019 04:57:39 UTC (380 KB)

[v2] Wed, 31 Jul 2019 06:59:51 UTC (302 KB)

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