International Women’s Day 2018


On International Women’s Day, we honor women in all science and engineering professions. Each of these women take a step forward for all of us. They show that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are cool and that there ought to be no limits to what women can achieve in these fields.

This year’s IWD theme is #PressforProgress.

With the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away – there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress. And with global activism for women’s equality fueled by movements like #MeToo#TimesUp and more – there is a strong global momentum striving for gender parity.

Individually, we’re one drop but together we’re an ocean. Commit to a “gender parity mindset” via progressive action. Let’s all collaborate to accelerate gender parity, so our collective action powers equality worldwide.

Especially given our profession is currently challenged on several fronts, we at the SEG Women’s Network definitely feel the need to Press For Progress of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. We cannot accomplish this without your dedication to a shared vision for the future of the Society and all of its membership. Join us, learn and grow with us, and soon, lead us. Let’s make progress together.

An important SEG Women’s Network goal is continued innovations in mentoring, starting with the online mentoring portal, a SEG collaboration with the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG). This month’s Seismic Soundoff podcast is a conversation with Leslie Marasco of AGU and Maitri Erwin of SEG on Mentoring365, what it entails and its benefits to mentees and mentors alike.

Here are some uplifting and thought-provoking reads to accompany the celebration of this day. We invite you to leave others in the comments below.

“The next-generation workforce is also vastly more global than mine. In OECD countries, the oil industry is often not viewed as an attractive employer; young people are attracted to alternative energy companies or the tech industry. However, that isn’t the case elsewhere; the oil industry is a preferred employer in many developing countries. Oil employers offer high-paying jobs and opportunities to work internationally. Leading multinationals already source their workforce globally, and this trend will accelerate as OECD countries don’t keep up with demand for graduates proficient in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

-Janeen Judah, 2017 SPE President in JPT’s Talent Everywhere

Some great quotes in Science Magazine’s Celebrating Women in Science:

“My advice to early-career women scientists is to believe in yourself and believe that what you do matters for science and for society. Strive to create the networks and find the peer support and mentoring that you need. Be open and outspoken about the challenges that you face to help others find better ways to support you.”

-N∅nne Prisle, professor of atmospheric science, Finland

“Especially for women, who even at a young age can internalize impostor syndrome, this is a big step forward. I also love challenging stereotypes whenever I stumble upon them. When asked whether I am a postdoc or a Ph.D. student, which often happens, I really enjoy asking people why they assume that young women cannot be full professors and seeing them panic as they try to cover up their prejudices.”

– Bilge Demirkoz, professor in high energy physics, Turkey

“I still find it exciting to be one of the few women in a male-dominated field—I’m still making a difference just by being here—but I’ve since learned that there is a wide variety of professional cultures, and I don’t have to settle for one that is unwelcoming and, frankly, unsafe. I now work in a department where diversity-related issues are acknowledged and discussed openly and frequently. I have many male colleagues who I consider actual friends, who have never asked me out or made a joke at my expense. I no longer feel like I’m seen as a woman first; I am just a researcher, a scientist, an engineer.”

– Monica Esopi, PhD candidate in chemical engineering, USA

Encouraging greater diversity is not only the right thing to do: it allows scientific organizations to derive an “innovation dividend” that leads to smarter, more creative teams, hence opening the door to new discoveries.

– Nielsen et al., 2017, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA

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