Monthly archives: November, 2014

Fall 2014 CRWG Newsletter Now Available

The Fall 2014 edition of the CRWG Newsletter, Building Research Connections, is now available. Check it out here: Building Research Connections Fall 2014.


BIRCWH Scholar Kirstie Danielson’s NIH presentation available online

BIRCWH scholar Kirstie Danielson’s NIH presentation can be viewed here.  Her talk begins approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes into the video.


Status of Women in the Geosciences

Ioana StefanescuFriend of WISE, Dr. Roy Plotnick, WISE student, Ionana Steanescu (pictured at left) and Dr. Alycia L. Stigall of Ohio University (whose lab alumni include former WISE Chic President Jennifer Bauer), have published a paper on the status of women in the geosciences by examining who has been presenting at the North American Paleontological Convention (NAPC). NAPC is held every four to five years and is the one conference where all the different flavors of geoscience gather together.

What they found is that participation of women has increased over the years and that this increase is due to collaboration. Women’s increase in presenting at the meeting is not reducing men’s participation as 90% of the abstracts included a male name. This does mean that women were more likely to be part of a group of presenters than to be solo authors. The other finding of note is that the increase in women’s representation appears to be attributable to an increase in student authorship.

While the news is good in the geosciences in terms of women’s participation in this specific and important meeting, the authors do note that there is still a lack of women in leadership positions and being keynote speakers. This speaks to one aspect of WISE’s work. While we want to see the number of women go up in STEM, we also want to see women’s role in leading their respective fields go up as well.

Evolution of paleontology: Long-term gender trends in an earth-science discipline
Roy E. Plotnick, Alycia L. Stigall, Ioana Stefanescu


CRWG Partners with Mujeres Latinas en Accion on Economic Security Report

Mujeres1

The Center for Research on Women and Gender partnered with Mujeres Latinas en Accion, the longest-standing Latina organization in the country, on their latest “Latina Portrait” annual policy report. This year’s report focused on economic security. CRWG Assistant Director Veronica Arreola wrote the introduction to the report and attended the report release press conference in September.

Mujeres2

The study found that Latin@s* are overrepresented in Chicago’s low-wage workforce. While they make up 26% of the city’s population, 42% of low-wage workers are Latin@. Undocumented Latin@s are most at risk for living in poverty. Due to their status, undocumented Latinas often must choose undesirable low-wage work or informal work in which they cannot fight for better pay or working conditions due to threat of being fired or deported. These low-wage industries also often expose Latinas to exploitation from supervisors. Undocumented Latin American women are at an increased risk of experiencing wage theft or being paid less than minimum wage, as well as sexual violence. This situation has local implications, as women comprise nearly half of the undocumented population in Illinois.

The impact of low-wage work on Latinas is exemplified by the monthly cost of childcare in Illinois, which can total $1,469, while a full-time minimum wage earner will make just $1,430 a month. The high cost of child care may keep Latinas in low-wage work because it limits the type of work they can do, in attempt to minimize childcare costs.

The “Latina Portrait” did not just paint a bleak state of affairs. It ends with a number of policy recommendations including raising the minimum wage, establishing earned sick-time, and creating a domestic workers bill of rights. Recommendations for action are detailed for allies who work in local government, labor and service organizations, and academia.

To read the full report, visit Mujeres Latinas en Accion and click on “Latina Portrait: Latinas and Economic Security.”

*Using Latin@ instead of “Latino” recognizes both Latinos and Latinas. For this Latina Portrait, Latin@ was used to differentiate between Latin@s of all genders and when just talking about Latina women.