Recent work on the gender balance of abstract submissions to the largest palaeontological conference in north America, the North American Paleontological Convention, provides very promising evidence that efforts to raise the profile and number of female contributors is making a difference. This article suggests that the number of female authors is rising, largely due to collaborations with more senior (typically male) colleagues, although efforts are still needed to get mid- and late-career women represented as keynote speakers and convenors.
The historical development of gender diversity in paleontology may be
representative of similar changes across the geosciences. An analysis of
the programs of the ten North American Paleontological Conventions
held since 1969 shows a steady increase in the participation by women
in the discipline. Notably, the proportion of male authorship on
abstracts was stable while female authorship contribution increased.
Much of the growth in female authorship is due to increased
collaboration and recognition of student participation with junior
authorship. These changes are just starting to be reflected at more
senior levels; strategies need to be implemented to ensure that young
female geoscientists are retained and developed.
Roy E. Plotnick, Alycia L. Stigall, Ioana Stefanescu; GSA Today, November 2014, doi:10.1130/GSATG219GW.1