Friday, April 25, 2014

Women and Nuclear:

Maybe We Have Come A Long Way!

I was very interested to see the results of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) election for officers and Board members, which were just announced today.  Three out of the four U.S. At-Large Directors elected to the ANS Board are women!  (They are Katherin Goluoglu, Gale Hauck, and Sandra Sloan.)  In fact, the non-U.S. At-Large Director, Sandra Dulla, is also a woman, so 4 out of the 5 new Board members are women. 

I may be dating myself, but when I first got involved with ANS, women in the Society were few and far between, and women in governance were even rarer.  In fact, the first time I ran for the ANS Board of Directors, the late Gail de Planque, who was one of the few women who had served on the Board to that time, was very upset when she saw that I was one of two women on the ballot.  Her thinking was that the membership might vote for one woman, but never two, so we might end up splitting the vote and both losing.  I'm happy to report that she was wrong.  It was probably one of the few times she was wrong, but both the other woman and I were elected.

But wait. There's more.  The incoming president, Mikey Brady Raap (shown on the left), is a woman, and Margaret Harding has just been selected to fill the remaining term of the treasurer following the recent unexpected death of Mike Lineberry, who had held that position.  Furthermore, two other women (Angie Howard and Heather MacLean Chichester) continue as members of the Board, making a total of 8 women out of 20 positions (and 2 of the 4 executive committee positions).

My point in making note of these election results is not intended to imply that a Board that is almost half women is going to be "better."  The ANS membership is fortunate in that we always have a strong slate of candidates, and the real pity is that we can't elect them all.  My point is a very personal reaction, perhaps reflecting on my conversation so many years ago with Gail de Planque, when I don't think either of us would have envisioned an election result like the one we saw from ANS today.

So, congratulations to the newly elected women, and ALSO to the newly elected men, and best wishes to both the new and continuing Board members as they work to lead the ANS in the year ahead.  


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