Open Forum: Gender equality & earth sciences – a situated perspective

Climate change is intensifying extreme events. In 2023 alone, there have been floods, heat waves, wildfires, and other events – in many different countries, impacting many different people. It is time to discuss the role of gender in societies affected by these events, and within academic communities. As well as the gender dynamics of the relationship between science and society. On 8 November 2023, Guiliana Rubbia shared her extensive experience of gender equality in the male-dominated field of eart science through the MINDtheGEPs Open Forum. 

The international community is increasingly recognizing the urgency of addressing the gender equality issue, deploying Gender Equality Plans, dedicated projects, and aligning with the commitments of scientific societies. Giuliana Rubbia's presentation offered a preliminary overview of available data and highlighted ongoing international efforts to rectify the gender disparity within the field of earth sciences. 

Beyond workplace representation, Giuliana Rubbia emphasised the need to expand the gender perspective to include research content related to natural hazards. The differential impacts of natural disasters on society underscore the importance of integrating gender considerations not only in the workplace but also in the scientific exploration of these phenomena. The MINDtheGEPs Open Forum facilitated discussions on practical applications of a gender lens in activities connected to natural hazards, providing examples for consideration and debate among the audience.

As climate change continues to escalate the frequency and severity of extreme events, the discourse on gender dynamics within academic communities and the broader relationship between science and society has become more urgent than ever. Guiliana Rubbia's advocacy for gender equality in earth science can inform a more inclusive and equitable approach to understanding and addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by our changing climate. Watch back her presentation below. 



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MINDtheGEPs (Modifying Institutions by Developing Gender Equality Plans) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 101006543.

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