University of Barcelona and Institute of Cosmic Science
Job Title: Profesor titular de universidad
She is an Astronomer: How many years since you got your maximum degree?
Carme Jordi: 24 years. I've a permanent post as "Profesor titular de universidad". I share my research activity with teaching duties.
SIAA: What is the most senior position you have achieved?
CJ: I got my current position in 1991 (18 years ago) after four years of temporary position. Before this (and as well in my periods as undergraduate and PhD student) I was working as software programmer and engineer for several private companies.
SIAA: Do you feel it was more difficult for you to get a job or a promotion in comparison with male astronomers?
CJ: No, personally I have not felt this difficulty. The CVs were judged by the committees with criteria based on achievements in research and teaching. The main difficulty was (and is) the few number of posts available. When I was PhD student there were few individuals that preferred men students. Recently, the breaks for maternity leave have been considered in some of the evaluations. This is important in order to not add extra pressure and should be accounted in all the evaluations. However, this should not be only for women, but as well for the men that break for paternity leave.
SIAA: Are women under-represented in your institution?
CJ: In my Department of Astronomy and Meteorology there are four women over a total of 15 permanent positions devoted to astronomy and astrophysics. None of the women has a full professor position, which partially is a consequence of the age. The ratio of women over men along PhD students is more balanced and this is encouraging.
SIAA: What is your family status?
CJ: I'm married with an engineer. No children.
SIAA: Have you had any career breaks?
CJ: No, no breaks in my career.
SIAA: How many hours per day do you normally dedicate to work?
CJ: Too many, as most of the researchers. About 10 hours per day plus some extra work in the evenings and sometimes on the weekends.
SIAA: What would most help you advance your career?
CJ: More support by the authorities and University recognizing the merits of the research teams and diminishing the bureaucracy load, or otherwise helping in the administration and management duties. Availability of new permanent posts for young astronomers that would help to consolidate the research teams.
SIAA: What recommendation would you make to young women starting their career in astronomy?
CJ: My recommendation is for all young astronomers either men or women and is based on the current framework of astronomy and astrophysics. Try to get a wide experience that includes classical research, teaching and instrumentation. This will yield more opportunities to your future. You should attend conferences to show your work and to make you known, and publish your investigations in refereed articles. It is almost unavoidable to have been abroad to get a post, and actually, this is recommendable since you will gain experience working with different teams and you will grow as a person sharing with other cultures and lifestyles. Invest the efforts to get what you like, do not get discouraged by the current difficulties (there are always difficulties, they change with time and framework but are there). Astronomy is an exciting field of science.
SIAA: What achievements in your career to date are you most proud of?
CJ: I am proud of my PhD students and the research that we did or do together. Almost all of my former students got positions related with astronomy, this is encouraging.