Every month, for you, EPWS presents the characteristics and activities of one Member Association.
Our member for June is the Dutch association GAIA.
For GAIA, Anouk Creusen, Geologist at Deltares and President of GAIA, has agreed to answer the EPWS questionnaire.
Contact for this association: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact for this member: Anouk.email@example.com
Association website: www.gaia-netwerk.nl
EPWS: If you wanted to describe your association in one sentence, what would you say?
AC: GAIA is a dynamic Network for women in Earth Sciences with 200 members in the Netherlands.
EPWS: What are the objectives of your association?
GAIA provides women with a background, a career or an interest in Earth Sciences with the opportunity to meet and extend their network. GAIA supports the development and career progression of their members.
EPWS: In a few words, what is the history of GAIA?
AC: GAIA was founded on December 9, 1998. This creation was driven by the percentage of women working in Earth Sciences, in business and the scientific institutions, remaining fixed at between 5 to 15%, despite the number of female graduates in the subject having increased significantly (by 30%) since the 1980s. Nowadays, though some change has been noted, this leakage of women from professional involvement is still a fact. Women seldom achieve leadership positions. In the light of this observation, GAIA initiated a research programme charting women’s professional careers. This has led to the creation of the GAIA Ambassadors Network (GAN), where GAIA, together with employers and educational institutions, seeks to contribute to the realisation of a more diverse and gender balanced working environment, so aiming to achieve the fulfillment of women’s potential in the Earth Sciences.
EPWS: Could you explain the organisation of your association?
AC: GAIA is a member of the Royal Dutch Geological and Mining Society (KNGMG) and is a working group of the Royal Dutch Geographical Society (KNAG). GAIA is also a member organisation of the National Women’s Council and the European Platform of Women Scientists.
EPWS: What are its recent achievements?
We have suffered some reduction in our activities, but are now reorganising to resume our previous vigour as a network. Attracting students and reviving our presence on social media has been our biggest achievement in the past year.
EPWS: What is your agenda for the coming months?
We are hosting networking dinners on a regular base and are working closely with other Dutch and international networks to promote such events. It is all about networking, so we support and encourage our members to engage in network activities.
EPWS: Are you collaborating with other EPWS members?
AC: No, not yet, but we are happy to generate such connections!
EPWS: What do you expect from EPWS? In what ways can it help you develop your action?
AC: We would wish to strengthen the bonds between European women in sciences. We hope to improve our members’ contact with the EPWS.