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WGC RoundUp meetup review

Hi there! My name is Zina Boileau. I am a geologist, currently working for the Geological Survey of Canada. I have been involved with WGC since last year’s meet up at AME RoundUp, and this year I used my time at RoundUp to help promote WGC and start some conversations about fantastic women in geoscience! I am so happy that an organisation like this exists, and doing such good work to further the awareness of the inequality that women face in this industry. It is so important to have an accessible way of approaching difficult topics, and our presence at conferences is a great way to get people asking “what can we do better?”

I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of young students with some promising careers ahead of them, as well as many established professionals that I extend eternal gratitude to – without you, my career would be much more difficult and I am so proud of how hard you have all worked already to make geoscience a better path for women. Thank you.

Our general meeting took place bright and early on Wednesday morning, and once the coffee kicked in we were able to dive into some fantastic discussions. There were many new faces, men and women alike, and it was wonderful to hear diverse perspectives from across the industry.

We reviewed this time line that was set in 2018 – what we have accomplished, where we are today, and where we would like to go. A recent survey of WGC members gave us some great information on where to focus our energy.

Some popular topics included:

  • Identify technical and management champions (both male and female) within industry and government to support WGC advocacy efforts

  • Cultivating healthy communities in remote camps, making sure women feel safe in the field

  • Workshops and seminars that target ways to support women to overcome barriers within the geoscience sector (dual working couples, field-work-home balance, parental leave)

  • Workplace issues associated with children are in fact "family" issues and not "women's" issues

  • Connect with multiple other women in geoscience and in science organizations, mentorship between junior members and experienced professionals.

Thank you to everyone who submitted responses!

As always, we welcome everyone to our meetings, and there is great value in having members from diverse backgrounds, positions, fields of interest, etc. Our discussion was lively and helpful, with many of us learning new information as well as putting forth some great ideas to carry us into the future.

Some statements from new faces:

Darrell Farrow, Principal Geologist at GeoStrat Consulting Services: I hope to see an evening of the playing field between men and women in the industry. We need more geoscientists who are women being included, taken seriously and having a career path in the industry. This includes equal opportunities, equal pay and being heard in the work environment.

Nathan Rude, Operations Manager at Aurora Geoscience: I enjoyed hearing from the people that were new to the industry. Hearing what the concerns are now. Sometimes there is a perception that "well, things are getting better", but hearing the concerns that were raised the only conclusion I could come to was that ‘things’ are not anywhere near better enough and not getting there nearly fast enough. We need the talent that a diversified workforce can provide, and we will take all the help we can get to create an environment where that can happen. It is the mind set, that we are all responsible for making this line of work, work for everyone. There are such amazing people in this world that have so much to contribute.

We hope to see some of you at PDAC, and will be planning more great events for 2020!

Cheers, and happy science!

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