by Maitri Erwin and Laurie Whitesell
Monday kicked off the official Women’s Network Committee (WNC) activities that started with the 1st SEG Student and University and Women’s Network Mentor Meet Up. The event was a success with more than 100 students and 35 mentors involved in speed mentoring! The mentors rotated tables after 15 minutes of answering questions and interacting with students at each table. After an hour, everyone networked with food and beverages. All students enjoyed the event, as did the mentors! This event will take place again in 2018.
Immediately after was the 2nd WNC Evening Networking Reception. Chair Maitri Erwin presented a slideshow that highlighted WNC achievements over the past year, and Leslie Marasco presented on the Mentoring365 program that the SEG Board of Directors approved this past year.
For a second year, during the networking reception, the Women’s Network Committee presented Pioneering Women of Geophysics posters. The posters were prepared by the WNC student chapter members from Colorado School of Mines. This year, the Pioneers honored were Fernanda Araújo, Lucy McGregor, and Kamini Singha. You can explore these posters online at the SEG WNC website.
The first WNC- sponsored technical session was Near-Surface Geophysics Applied to Archaeological Research. The co-chairs for this technical session were Blair Schneider and George Tsoflias. The talks were well attended and served as the WNC’s inaugural foray into officially sponsoring technical sessions.
The theme for the seventh WNC breakfast was Giving Back, Giving Forward, which reflects on the responsibility that members have to give back to SEG, as well as giving forward to those younger members who are coming up within the profession. This year’s keynote speaker was Patricia Vega, President and CEO, Evaluation & Optimization at GE oil and Gas. Her talk addressed the concept of this theme and how it relates not only to geophysics but to technology. The WNC student chapter at the University of Houston, with strong leadership from Zohreh Souri, provided the ice breaker activities as well as the breakout session activities.
The Women’s Network Committee business meeting took place in the afternoon and we addressed items such as leadership succession planning, future activities outside of the SEG annual meeting, global/regional chapters, and mentoring.
On Thursday afternoon, the WNC organized a half-day post-conference workshop with the American Geophysical Union (AGU) on Moving Beyond Conversations: Addressing Harassment and Improving Workplace Climate. This workshop explored some of the barriers to inclusion – including harassment, micro-aggressions, and structural barriers – and the impacts on individuals and programs, drawing from real examples in the geosciences. The interactive workshop presented intervention techniques, and elements of bystander intervention techniques were also provided.