siaa_logo_blue Karen Pollard

University of Canterbury

Christchurch, New Zealand
Job Title: University Senior Lecturer


She is an Astronomer: How long is it since you got your degree? 

Karen Pollard: 15 years since my PhD


SIAA: Do you feel it was more difficult for you to get a job or a promotion in comparison with male astronomers?  

KP: No


SIAA: Are women under-represented in your institution? 

KP: Yes, particularly in the sciences and in senior positions. 


SIAA: What is your family status?

KP: I am married, and have two primary-school age children.


SIAA: Have you had career breaks? 

KP: Yes, parental leave.


SIAA: How difficult did you find the return to your work? 

KP: Not too difficult, after only 6 months.


SIAA: How many hours per day do you normally dedicate to work? 

KP: About 6 hours (1/2 time position) at the current time.


SIAA: What would most help you advance your career? 

KP: More government support and prioritization of fundamental research, i.e. availability and access to research grants, less administration attached to working in a university and more availability and access to good quality and affordable childcare.


SIAA: What recommendation would you make to young women starting their career in astronomy? 

KP: Make sure you understand what your motivations are and what is important to you in your work and your life.  Work on your time management skills and efficiency of getting jobs done. Work on building up support networks at work and at home. Make sure you find a supportive and understanding partner!