The Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) began informally in 2002, amongst a group of women atmospheric scientists from different institutions who recognized the need for more support and community amongst women scientists. ESWN’s mission is to support the scientists of today and welcome the scientists of tomorrow. Women and black, indigenous and people of color are importantly underrepresented in the geosciences/Earth sciences. As of 2020, women make up, on average, 20% of faculty in geoscience-related fields, nearly double the representation there was two decades ago. Even in disciplines with the majority of advanced degrees earned by women, senior and leadership positions are still dominated by men. Of the 40% of geosciences bachelor’s degrees earned by women in 2014, only 5% were earned by women of color. The number of PhDs awarded to geoscientists of color in the U.S. has seen little to no change in 40 years, demonstrating that efforts to counteract gender bias have failed to serve women of color, specifically, and people of color, generally.
Today, ESWN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity across the geosciences with an emphasis on creating and supporting a nurturing community, working for cultural change to eliminate barriers to a diverse scientific workforce, and empowering scientists through professional development. ESWN is led by a volunteer Board of Directors and Associate Board of Directors, which support a range of activities aimed at professional growth and creating a just, equitable and inclusive geoscience community. Donations to our non-profit supports this mission, and membership in ESWN is free and open to everyone. Volunteer opportunities are also available via a range of committees (see below) and we would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you!
ESWN aspires to transform scientific culture and institutions to advance justice, equity, inclusivity, respect and community. Our enduring goals include cultivating community that promotes our values, nurturing careers through access to a range of role models and professional development, empowering ESWN members to grow and strengthen ESWN and its mission, and engaging and supporting relationships across earth science sectors to enhance our community.