Creating and Promoting Gender Equity and Diversity in Professional Geological Societies: A Focus on AAPG

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Rachelle Kernen , Clara Abu , Jonathan Allen, Sumiyyah Ahmed, Kathryn J Amos, K. Lee Avary, Lauren Birgenheier , Joy Frank-Collins, Terra George, Kiara Gomez, Autumn Haagsma, Nicole Hart-Wagoner, Andrea Lopez, Chioma Onwumelu, Bethany Rysak


When professional organizations allow gender inequity to persist, they continually lose talented, valuable individuals who enrich and lead their groups. According to membership data collected by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the 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. Within AAPG, there are significant gender inequities in the percentage of women and non-binary individuals holding leadership and technical positions, publishing articles, giving distinguished lectures, and receiving technical awards. Because the AAPG is a major international geoscience professional organization, this inequity greatly contributes to the gender disparity that exists in the greater geoscience community. The evaluation of historical AAPG membership data in this study allows for an opportunity to provide solutions to advance gender equity and give meaningful power by implementing diversity standards in AAPG’s most visible and prestigious opportunities. By addressing this issue, professional societies such as AAPG can demonstrate tangible efforts to eliminate the discrimination, bias, and barriers many women and non-binary individuals encounter and support them 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 10:11

Last Updated: 2022-06-23 16:22

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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