|Saeko S. Hayashi|
Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan
|Hilo, Hawaii, US|
|Job Title: Associate Professor|
She is an Astronomer: How long is it since you got your maximum academic qualification?
Saeko S Hayashi: 21 years (Ph. D. in 1987)
SIAA: What is the most senior position you have achieved?
SSH: My current position is the highest yet; other titles can be the head of the Day Operation (2002-2006) the manager of the Public Information and Outreach Office (2006 - present). As Associate Professor I am only one of the two in the history of this national institute.
SIAA: Do you feel it was more difficult for you to get a job or promotion in comparison with male astronomers?
SSH: Choice of the field mattered for me and for another female researcher at our institute, so in that way our choices helped to get a job in a big project.
SIAA: Are women under-represented in your institution?
SSH: Under-representation is not significant in my generation - for there are not many women this field anyway. For younger generation, it is becoming more serious.
SIAA: What is your family status?
SSH: Partner - yes, children - yes (2 boys). I started working with this project in 1990, while my partner joined in 1994. We both moved to Hawaii in 1998.
SIAA: Have you had any career breaks?
SSH: Maternity leaves are included in my tenure status: 6 weeks before and 8 weeks after the birth is granted. For the last maternity leave, I worked until the day before giving birth without complications.
SIAA: How difficult did you find the return to your work?
SSH: For the last maternity leave, I practically returned to work on the third day, and to the office in two weeks, without too much difficulties. It was more difficult for the first one while I was working in Japan due to the social pressure.
SIAA: How many hours per day do you normally dedicate to work?
SSH: 10-12 hours
SIAA: What would most help you advance your career?
SSH: Strong motivation and positive attitude.
SIAA: What recommendation would you make to young women starting their career in astronomy?
SSH: Enjoy what you are doing, no matter what the stake is.