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M. Urry (STScI), K. B. Marvel (AAS), B. Blacker (STScI)
To assess the status of women in astronomy we need data. How many women are astronomers? How does this percentage change with professional level? Do women have an advantage over men in hiring or other professional opportunities, or do men have the advantage, or is the playing field level? Using recent STScI and AAS surveys, I report the gender demographics in U.S. astronomy departments in 1999. Roughly 1/4 of astronomy graduate students are women, and this percentage decreases with rank, to 6% at the full professor level. Comparing to similar data from 1992, it appears that women fall behind men at the first transition, from graduate student to postdoc, but then keep pace with men in moving to faculty positions. (There is no sign that women advance more easily than men.) Interestingly, the percentage of women is slighly higher in the larger, better known institutions than in the profession as a whole.