Aswin Sekhar remarks on the low proportion of female astronomers in many countries (Nature 555, 165; 2018). A career in science can often exceed 50 years, meaning that the total average number of women (and minorities) will remain low for another half a century, even if we achieve parity now among early-career scientists. What matters as much as where we’ve been is where we’re going.
As the chair of the International Astronomical Union’s US committee for membership applications, I can report that we are doing much better than the grand averages would suggest. Women comprise around 40% of the latest US intake of 212 individuals, with 43% of those having gained their PhDs after 2010. This is an encouraging trend.
Nature 556, 31 (2018)