Institute of Astronomy and Space Physics (IAFE)
|Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Job Title: Principal Researcher
She is an Astronomer: How long is it since you got your maximum academic degree?
Gloria Dubner: 27 years. At present I am a Principal Researcher and member of the National Council of Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET).
SIAA: Do you feel it was more difficult for you to get a job or a promotion in comparison with male astronomers?
GD: Though the rules and conditions to obtain a permanent position and to get successive promotions in CONICET (Argentina) are gender independent, in my experience it takes longer for women. And this is not because of any kind of formal discrimination (because the conditions are public and clear), but because for a woman with family it usually takes longer than to a man to achieve the same goals. In spite of working hard and putting much effort, during the years in which my children were small I was stuck in the same level for almost a decade, without any promotion.
SIAA: Are women under-represented in your institution?
GD: No. Women are well represented in my Institute, and in astronomy in general in Argentina. In IAFE, women are about 50% both, among senior staff and graduate students.
SIAA: What is your family status?
GD: Married, three children, one grand-daughter. I looked after my elderly father and my mother-in-law until they died 7 and 2 years ago, respectively.
SIAA: Have you had any career breaks?
GD: I have only stopped for 4-5 months after the birth of each of my children, and they were born every 3.5 years.
SIAA: How difficult did you find the return to work?
GD: It was difficult to leave my babies, but I was also anxious to return to research.
SIAA: How many hours per day do you normally dedicate to work?
GD: Now that all my children are grown up, I spend about 10 hours per day at work.
SIAA: What has most helped you advance your career?
GD: In my case it was the help of my husband, who always supported my work, mostly taking into account my frequent trips to observatories (before remote observing era!).
SIAA: What recommendation would you make to young women starting their career in astronomy?
GD: To go ahead, no matter how difficult it can be during some stages in the life. The study of the universe is an exciting work and is worth the effort.