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All Hands In


In summer 2020, we revised our mission statement, following a petition for professional geoscience organizations to tackle racism in the geosciences and make it part of their foundations. Women Geoscientists in Canada has adopted this action plan and altered it slightly given our not-for-profit status versus a professional society. Many of these items have always been true to our mission but we found that this list is eloquently written, to the point, and makes a clear stand of values and our intentions.


This initiative arose once we started counting the number of men versus women at workshops and conferences. An astoundingly small percentage of invited speakers and session chairs were women, despite larger percentages of women (albeit still relatively underrepresented) in the audience. There are qualified women out there who can also fill these roles—what can we do to promote their involvement?


The literature has noted how for younger geoscientists, there is much less of a gender gap than at later career stages (SEG TLE, 2014). How do we retain women in geoscience careers? 












Image adapted from Sprunt et al (SEG TLE, 2014)


Exploration '17 provided an invaluable forum to connect with fellow professional, qualified female geoscientists. It has since become our goal to elevate these women, to promote them and their science, and to encourage them to continue careers in geology, geophysics, and geochemistry.

For more details, read our business plan.


Action Plan

Research and compile statistics​

    • Keep track ​of current situations, organization's diversity targets, what barriers marginalized groups face, what concerns they have, the affect of COVID-19 on gender balance, etc.

    • Check in at Exploration '27. How are we doing compared to 2017-2018?

  • Demand that diversity topics no longer be relegated to non-technical sessions but are a part of all discussions.

    • Demand that speakers, chairs, and organizers of technical programs are diverse and represent marginalized groups.

    • Advocate for better diversity and representation of speakers

    • Share our Inclusive Conference Initiative and advocate for diversity topics as part of the main stage.

  • Support parents pre- and post-parental leave

    • Propose childcare solutions at conferences and advocate for sponsorship​. Provide list of nearby childcare services nearby and support parents bringing children to conferences

    • Support and recognize that continued attendance and participation in professional development ​during parental leave promotes retention

    • Provide ways to approach and discuss with employers

  • Interrogate written policies and procedures that identify bias, then suggest revised policies and evaluation criteria to be anti-discriminatory.

    • We have a Anti-Harassment Policy, Events Code of Conduct, Harassment Reporting System, and a Board Diversity Policy.​ These are regularly reviewed to ensure they are current and inclusive.

    • Continuously educate ourselves and provide resources to our members to recognize and address conscious and unconscious bias.

  • Question unspoken rules.​​

    • The Board regularly notifies each other and discusses questionable job postings, promotional materials, and events.​

    • We actively call out job postings, events, and other materials that are not diverse or reflect diversity.

    • Support member to speak out and challenge norms that are falling out of favour.

  • Actively promote marginalized geoscientists as journal editors, reviewers, and conference organizers

    • Actively nominate marginalized geoscientists as conference organizers, session chairs, and workshop leaders, and use our network to nominate these people for editorial and review positions.

  • Address issues of workplace culture that are threats to safety, well-being, and careers, and acknowledge, address, and promote the safety and success of marginalized geoscientists and students.

    • Advocate for safe practices in both the field and office settings to better protect people and share information from other organization specializing in addressing these issues.​

    • Continue to share articles, interviews, and our experiences in the workplace and in the field, particularly in the "Career support" and "For students and young pros" Slack channels.

  • Actively diversify nominations and award committees.

    • The Board occasionally is asked to nominate people for awards. We strive to nominate outstanding people from marginalized groups and question those organizations with non-diverse nominees.​

  • Actively advocate and create accountability for income parity.

    • We actively discuss marginalized people's income discrepancies in industry and academia in Slack and the impact on their lives and careers​.

    • Research how to talk about and address income parity, and advocate for income parity at all career levels.

  • Acknowledge the inequities inherent to fieldwork while affirming that cutting-edge geoscience happens in many different spaces.

    • Discuss and share articles and interviews about work-life balance, especially in the field while raising families. Provide tools to discuss work-life balance and advocate for geoscience careers that better support families.​

    • Include more marginalized racial, neuro-diverse, physically-diverse, and LGBTQ+ experiences in our discussions.

  • Directly sponsor and hold networking events for marginalized geoscientists.

    • Share events in our Slack "Events" channel and ensure networking events for marginalized groups are promoted.​

    • Maintain contacts with other organizations and expand our network of inclusive groups.

    • Hire socially responsible vendors for our in-person events

  • Publish annual reports of our activities and reflections of our members.

    • Post highlights from our Slack channels on our Twitter feed.​

    • Continue to write blog posts to summarize our yearly activities and ensure these are easily accessible in our archives.

  • Acknowledge the impacts of historical and ongoing exploitation in the geosciences.

    • Contribute to identifying and recognizing historical and current ​exploitation in our field and identify ways to avoid.

  • Acknowledge environmental injustice in geoscience.

    • Recognize the environmental impact our field has on the environment and support environmentally-sound geoscience practices while promoting diversity, inclusivity, and equity.​

  • Post anti-racism statements publicly and accessibly, and support the addition of anti-racism into code of ethics of professional societies (e.g., PGO, EGBC).

    • Our anti-racism policy is at the top of this page and Our Friends page shows the other organizations we support.

    • Urge professional societies to also publicly support and include anti-racism, diversity, and inclusivity in their policies.

  • Actively work to understand the lived experiences of marginalized geoscientists.

    • Investigate expanding into online panels and promoting discussions that are more accessible than Slack.​

    • Share articles and interviews of different experiences in industry and academia and provide support and a welcome space within Slack for people from all experiences and backgrounds.

  • Identify ways we have failed marginalized geoscientists both structurally and individually.

    • Reach out to our members for their comments and feedback, and regularly reevaluate the content we share and produce.

    • Think about our individual actions in daily life and make conscious efforts to do better.

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