siaa_logo_blue Danielle Alloin

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

CEA, Saclay, France

Directrice de Recherches DR1


She is an Astronomer: How many years since you got your maximum degree?

Danielle Alloin: 37 years.


SIAA: What is the most senior position that you have achieved?

DA: Currently I am Directrice de Recherches DR1 at CNRS.  Before that, I was Director of Science at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile.


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

DA: Yes, to jump from DR2 to DR1 was difficult, which is really the final stage of the career.  Also, I was abroad at the time in Chile and this made it more difficult.


SIAA: Are women under-represented in your institution?

DA: Right now at CNRS, there are about 20% women in astronomy at all the three different levels.  But it has changed recently -  I would say that about 5 years ago, it was not like that. I think this is because there was an analysis that showed at the top level there were not enough women and they have corrected this.


SIAA: What is your family status?

DA: I have two children, but they are grown up.


SIAA: Have you had any career breaks?

DA: I had very short maternity leaves of three months.


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

DA: Not difficult.  I was looking forward to going back to work.


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

DA: It has varied over time.  When I was Director of Science in Chile I was working 11 hours today.  Now I normally work 8-9 hours.


SIAA: What would have most helped you advance your career?

DA: It was not a real concern for me to advance my career and it was only when I started to see differences between my male colleagues and myself that I became aware that there was the need to have a career plan.


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

DA: The situation is very different nowadays than when I started working.  I would now tell them have a career plan and try to think of their future.