Education Editors' Highlights

Steady but Slow Progress on the Long Road Towards Gender Parity

The historic disproportionate attrition of women among geoscience faculty is decreasing, but how long will it take to reach gender parity if current trends of progress continue?

Source: AGU Advances


Diversity among scientists expands the questions our science asks, the approaches it takes, and the quality and impact of its products. Unfortunately, the geosciences has one of the worst records of diversity among its ranks. Progress is being made to include more women in the geosciences, but Ranganathan et al. [2021] show that, assuming equity in hiring and retention going forward, gender parity in the geosciences at U.S. universities will not be reached until 2028, 2035, and 2056, for assistant, associate, and full professors, respectively. Women of color and all minoritized groups face a longer road to inclusion. In an accompanying Viewpoint, Hastings [2021] shares the policies, institutional support, and community support that helped her overcome several obstacles in her career. These data and personal stories show that actions have and will make a difference, but institutions and their leaders need to pick up the pace to make the geosciences more inclusive and equitable.

Citation: Ranganathan, M., Lalk, E., Freese, L. et al. [2021]. Trends in the representation of women among geoscience faculty from 1999-2020: the long road towards gender parity. AGU Advances, 2, e2021AV000436.

—Eric Davidson, Editor, AGU Advances

Text © 2021. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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