Chiang Mai University and the National Astronomical Reserch Institute of Thailand (Public Organization)
|Chiang Mai, Thailand|
Job Title: Lecturer (CMU) & Expert Advisor (NARIT))
She is an Astronomer: How many years since you got your maximum degree?
Siramas Komonjinda: 2 years.
SIAA: Do you feel it was more difficult for you to get a job or a promotion in comparison with male astronomers?
SK: To get a job is not very hard in Thailand. We don't have many astronomers to compete with and most astronomers are scholarship students who already have a plan for their careers since being a student. It can be hard sometimes when we have to deal with senior people to make them look at our brain and not at our face. Also, it is hard for men to accept the woman leadership.
SIAA: Are women under-represented in your institution?
SK: At Chiang Mai university, we have a half-and-half ratio in academic staff. But in the astronomy research lab I am the only one women here (counting from the total number of 4). At NARIT, we have two female astronomers from five astronomers.
SIAA: What is your family status?
SK: I am just married and we plan to have children in the next few years.
SIAA: How many hours per day do you normally dedicate to work?
SK: Officially it is 35 hours per week but since we are promoting astronomy in Thailand we have lots of activities for schools and for the public so we are working at 10-12 hours per days on lecture, research, and outreach.
SIAA: What would most help you advance your career?
SK: The help of my family and colleagues. Luckily they all understand my all-year-round travel.
SIAA: What recommendation would you make to young women starting their career in astronomy?
SK: If this job is what you are happy with, be happy to do it and you will succeed.