Creating and Promoting Gender Equity and Diversity  in Professional Geological Societies

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Rachelle Kernen , Clara Abu, Jonathan Allen, Sumiyyah Ahmed, K. Lee Avary, Lauren Birgenheier , Terra George, Kiara Gomez, Andrea Lopez, Chioma Onwumelu, Bethany Rysak, Nicole Hart-Wagoner


Diversity drives innovation. When professional organizations allow gender inequity to persist, they continually lose talented, valuable individuals who drive economic growth and profits. According to membership data collected by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), American Geophysical Union (AGU), and the Geological Society of America (GSA) there is evidence of continued gender inequity in professional geological societies, particularly, in the AAPG. Specifically, there are remaining inequities in the percentage of women holding leadership and technical positions, publishing articles, giving distinguished lectures, and receiving technical and service awards within AAPG, even when compared to the proportional percentage of AAPG members. Because the AAPG is a major international geoscience professional organization, this inequity greatly contributes to the gender and diversity disparity that we see today in the greater geoscience community. The recent compilation and comparison of historical AAPG award and leadership role data allow for an opportunity to provide solutions to advance gender equity and give meaningful power to diversity in AAPG’s most visible and prestigious opportunities. By addressing this issue and implementing meaningful measures to improve gender equity, professional societies such as AAPG, can demonstrate tangible efforts to eliminate the discrimination, bias, and barriers many women encounter and support women in having equitable opportunities as professional geoscientists.



Education, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Social and Behavioral Sciences


gender equity, professional societies, geoscientists


Published: 2021-02-10 01:11


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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