The Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) began in 2002 as an informal network of women in the early stages of their careers, with a mission to promote career development, build community, provide opportunities for informal mentoring, and support professional collaborations. Since then, ESWN has grown into a community of over 6,000 members across more than 50 countries, registering as a 501c3 and joining the 4W project network in 2014.
Women receive 39% of undergraduate degrees in the earth, atmospheric, and oceanic sciences, yet make up only 20% of geoscience faculty, and even fewer at the full professor level. ESWN believes that a more diverse and equitable scientific community leads to greater scientific innovation and productivity. When gender and other forms of bias deter young scientists from entering and succeeding in the scientific workforce, it harms science and all of society. Thus, ESWN’s mission is to support the scientists of today and welcome the scientists of tomorrow.
Activities and Impacts
• We have developed a robust portfolio of online and in-person activities to support the growing membership of scientists in a wide range of STEM disciplines.
• ESWN online communities continue to grow, reaching over 6,000 members as of April 2020.
• ESWN has organized several workshops, professional development meetings, and networking opportunities for young scientists, including:
• Leadership Skills for Success in the Scientific Workforce Workshop in Boulder (2019);
• Networking receptions at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Meeting in San Francisco (2020) and the American Meteorological Society Meeting in Boston (2020); and co-sponsorship of diversity and education sessions at several national meetings.
• With funding from the National Science Foundation, the ESWN peer-mentoring model has been extended to first-year undergraduate women in the Front Range (Colorado/Wyoming) and North and South Carolina.
• ESWN received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Engineering Mentoring in 2018.
• We launched a new initiative, ScienceForward, which onboards students to engage in STEM through mentorship and empowerment, based
on best practices from ESWN’s experiences. ScienceForward runs ESWN’s annual “Science-A- Thon” (#DayofScience) public outreach campaign, which celebrates science and scientists, and has raised funds for the Society of Women Engineers and Girls Who Code.
• ESWN established a $150,000 endowment through the Madison Community Foundation Campaign in 2019, including a $50,000 generous MCF matching grant.
• ESWN Director Erika Marin-Spiotta is leading an ADVANCEGeo Partnership with funding from the National Science Foundation. Her work will increase the participation and advancement of women and other marginalized groups in academic science by improving workplace climate conditions to reduce sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination.
• Launching a new initiative, ScienceForward, in 2017, which builds on-ramps for students to engage in STEM through advice, role models, and empowerment, based on best practices from ESWN’s experience.
• Advancing work funded by NSF to engage college students in STEM and to combat sexual harassment in science.
• Continuing activities to support women in the earth sciences and beyond, including events at the 2018 American Meteorological Society Meeting in Austin, and the 2018 AGU Meeting in Washington, DC.
• Participating in the 2nd Annual Science-A-Thon June 18 to 22, 2018.
• Aim to raise $50,000 in 2018 to qualify for the remaining $25,000 MCF matching grant, and meet our $150,000 total endowment goal.