The Geological Society
Who are The Geological Society?
The Geological Society is the UK national society for geoscientists, providing support to around 12,500 Fellows worldwide. Founded in 1807, we are the oldest geological society in the world.
Our aims are to improve knowledge and understanding of the Earth, to promote Earth science education and awareness, and to promote professional excellence and ethical standards in the work of Earth scientists, for the public good.
We are a world-leading communicator of Earth science through our scholarly publishing, Library services, cutting-edge scientific conferences, education activities and outreach to the public. We also provide impartial scientific information and evidence to support policy-making and public debate about the challenges facing humanity today.
What projects / schemes / initiatives to support women’s recruitment, retention and progression in STEM are The Geological Society involved in?
The Geological Society is committed to supporting diversity in its staff and Fellowship, and has made it a key priority to help encourage and celebrate equality and inclusion within geoscience education and professions.
As the UK professional body for geoscientists, the Society believes that everybody should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of disability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or other diversity characteristic. We believe that making the geosciences more inclusive will benefit individuals, the science, and society.
Improving diversity, equality and inclusion in geoscience education and professions, and in the Geological Society itself, is a long-term strategy, which will involve generational change. However, we will not see this change if we do not begin this journey now and make a sustained and enduring commitment to it.
In recent years, the Society has made progress in a number of areas helping the earth science community become a more diverse and inclusive place to study and work in. In October 2014, the Society became a founding signatory to the Science Council’s Declaration on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion firmly committing ourselves to work towards a more diverse, equal and inclusive geoscience community.
Since then, the Society has focused its efforts in a number of different areas to advance the principles of diversity, equality and inclusivity:
- Our Education Department works closely with STEM Learning UK encouraging our Fellows to volunteer as STEM Ambassadors and engage with young people (both boys and girls) inspiring the next generation to pursue STEM studies and careers.
- In 2017, the Society held its first Athena SWAN workshop – offering support to Earth Science departments working towards an Athena SWAN award. A workshop will be held annually. The Athena SWAN Charter/process is an excellent way to encourage, recognise and promote a commitment to advancing the careers of underrepresented groups in STEM fields.
- The Society participates in events and sponsors activities that can help in positively changing people’s perceptions of what exactly a career in STEM entails. A notable example being Trowelblazers’ Raising Horizons Project – celebrating 200 years of pioneering women in science.
- The launch of our ‘’Geology Career Pathways’’ – an interactive education and careers website offering advice and guidance to students on the range of studying options and careers available to them. Inclusivity is embedded throughout the Portal highlighting how accessible a career in earth science can be to all!
- We are in the process of helping the International Association for Geoscience Diversity to establish a UK Chapter, to be formally known as Diversity-in-Geoscience UK and are set to launch on 4thJune. In partnership with them we will collaborate on a programme of work, widening participation, ensuring the geosciences is accessible to all.
Why did The Geological Society join WISE?
“We at the Geological Society actively recognise the value of creating and maintaining an inclusive and diverse geoscience community. Our community should be welcoming to everyone interested in the geosciences. Our discipline relies on the integration of many different scientific areas that are then applied in activities ranging from resource extraction to renewable energy, environmental protection, regulation and the understanding of our natural world. To succeed, our community therefore needs to reflect the diversity of the science it serves.”
– Dr Sarah Gordon (PhD), Secretary, Foreign & External Affairs, The Geological Society