Coinciding with International Women’s Day and Women’s History month, I did a zoom meeting last week with students and faculty in the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Seminar at the University of Northern Colorado. My zoom presentation was – “Linking One Woman’s Geoscience Career to Gender Equity Progress”. Here’s the abstract of the Powerpoint slideshow that I presented and a pdf of the Powerpoint slideshow is available here:
My geoscience career encompasses the time period from the early 1970’s to the present and includes work in academia, government, and private sectors. As such, it becomes a good template to use in thinking about gender equity throughout that time. Data from a recent Pew Research Center Survey suggests that gender equity milestones of the last century include women’s right to vote (1920), the Equal Pay Act (1963), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (1993). In my opinion, the 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act and Title IX should also be included in these milestones. My career time line falls after the first two gender equity milestones and then continues through the enactment times of the other federal legislation cited above. Consequently, it’s instructive to review the various situations that I encountered both as a university student in undergraduate to graduate programs and then in the professional world, and to compare those circumstances to the present time. Data collected and summarized most recently by various organizations indicate that although gender equity progress has been made throughout the decades, it may currently be dramatically slowed or even stalled. Additionally, of significant concern now is “America’s First Female Recession” brought on by the loss of women in the workforce due to Covid-19 and its resulting effects on gender equity.