Friday, October 30, 2009

male-female ratio

Sorry about the long silence - I've had lousy internet service during my travels. Back to your usual programming...

I've worked in areas where the male:female geologist ratio is approaching 50:50, and where the majority of environmental science/engineering students coming out of college are female. But I've also worked in areas where female geologists are still a rarity, and drillers/subcontractors can refuse to work with women and not commit career suicide. Those areas aren't nearly as far south (in the US) as one might think.

So I'm wondering: what percentage of working geologists in your area are female? Are you seeing the number of women increase over time?

I don't stay up at night worrying about exact male:female ratios, but I've worked in places where female geologists are essentially unheard of, and they've been lonely and discouraging. I don't have the personality to be a pioneer, I guess.


Anonymous said...

PGH, PA - the only dept in the city has more women than men.

Marciepooh said...

My comments to up a little to much room so I just put them here:

BrianR said...

I work in petroleum geoscience R&D (so, not on well sites) and although my small team (6 people) is male-dominated, when all the geoscience teams are put together (~50 people) the ratio is probably about 60:40 male:female

I've only been there for just under two years so can't really say if it's changed.

Kim said...

While I was at GSA, I asked Cindy Martinez of AGI whether AGI had ever collected data on participation of women geoscientists in industry. (I was asking specifically about retention of women in industry vs academic careers, which is an even harder question than snapshots of a point in time.) Cindy said that they're planning to do a Geoscience Workforce Currents in the future on a related topic, so stay tuned.

Rock Head said...

Although it's been almost 10 years since I worked in the environmental consulting business, I just cannot conceive of a driller getting away with refusing to work with a female geologist.

The company I used to work for had a woman geologist as one of its VPs, and if any drilling sub refused to work with any of our female geologists, the drilling company would be fired and probably never work for us again.

The m/f ratio at the company I used to work for fluctuated at any given time because of turnover, but I would say on average it was probably close to 50/50 although I can remember one project in particular where it was 5:2 in favor of females.

Mary said...

We're a downhole logging group of scientists and at the moment the women outnumber the men. We've got three male logging scientists as compared to six female between our US and European offices. It hasn't always been that way, but being an academic group, we often have a higher than usual ratio than industry.

C W Magee said...

When I was a field geo, our other geo was female, so we were 50:50.

The government geochron group I worked for after that was M/F 7:1, but is now 6:2.

The engineering firm where I currently work is all male except for the secretary.

In my field job, our database manager was an ex field geophys. who took a town job after having kids. I don't know any moms who work remote multi-week rosters, but I do know a few dads who do so.