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.

Gender equality & earth sciences – a situated perspective

When: 8 November 2023 15-16:30 CEST
Where: Online

Earth science is a male-dominated sector with female under-representation. This disparity is much more evident in top positions and decision-making bodies and impacts the working environment. Institutions progressively attempt to improve this situation thanks to Gender Equality Plans, dedicated projects, and commitments of scientific societies as well. A preliminary overview of available data and actions at the international level will be commented on.

At the same time, natural hazards have different impacts on society. Therefore, the contribution is intended to broaden the gender perspective from improving underrepresentation in the workplace to including gender in research content in an extensive sense. Examples of applications of the gender lens in activities that are related to natural hazards will be proposed to the audience for discussion.

About the speaker

Giuliana Rubbia, physicist, is a Senior Technologist at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology of Italy, INGV, now based in Milan.

She joined the Earth Sciences community in the mid-1990s, as an early career researcher in information technology. She developed the first online seismicity databanks in the Italian area, web reports on seismic events, and has been responsible for institutional web portals. With the passing of the years, she broadened her perspective on research support services and science and society relationships and moved into Central Administration in Rome. She collaborated with INGV’s outreach unit, grant office, and disciplinary office. With an interest in research ethics and integrity, she contributed to the drafting of INGV personnel regulations and codes of conduct.

Regarding research policies and practices, she is an HRS4R expert assessor of the European Commission for the Human Resources Excellence in Research Award, aimed at genuine implementation of the European Charter of Researchers.

At present, she fosters gender equality and gender dimensions in research and innovation in everyday practice and spheres of influence. She is current member and past president of INGV Committee for Equal Opportunity, Wellbeing of Workers and Non-Discrimination, gender expert in projects’ advisory boards, a member of GETA Gender and Talent Observatory at the National Research Council of Italy, Women 20 Environmental Sustainability Engagement Group, and councilor of Italian Donne e Scienza Association. She organized conferences and published contributions on women in science, gender-based violence, gender and environmental issues, gendered innovations and women as change agents, gender and natural hazards.


Cigala, V., Roder, G., & Kreibich, H. (2022). Invited perspectives: "Natural hazard management, professional development and gender equity: let's get down to business", Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 22, 85-96. doi:10.5194/nhess-22-85-2022

Rubbia, G. (2022), Rubbia G (2022). Natural hazards and earthquake science: Gender matters. Front. Earth Sci. 10:1033321. doi:10.3389/feart.2022.1033321


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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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