GAIA is a network for women in earth sciences. GAIA provides women with an earth science background, career or interest with the opportunity to meet and network and intents to support these women in their (career) development.
GAIA was founded on December 9, 1998. This was because, although the percentage of female graduates in earth sciences had increased significantly (30%) since the 80s, the percentage of women working in business and the scientific institutions remained stable (only at 5 to 15%). Nowadays, though some change has been noted the leaning development is still a fact. Women scarcely get through to leadership positions. In light of this observation GAIA conducted a career research. 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 realization of a more diverse and gender-leveled working environment aiming to achieve fulfillment of women’s potential in the earth sciences.
GAIA has over 200 members. The mission, vision and goals of GAIA are set out in its strategic plan.
GAIA is a network for women in the earth sciences. GAIA offers women with an earth science background, career or interest the opportunity to meet and network and wants to support these women in their (career) development. GAIA will be in dialogue with employers and educational institutions seeking to contribute to the realization of a more diverse and gender-equal working environment with the aim of making better use of women’s potential in the earth sciences.
GAIA believes in gender equal working environment where women have equal opportunities and access to the earth sciences field. This goes beyond the pursuit of a certain ratio between men and women, which reflects the training outflow, but also includes the cultural and social norms and values under which it operates. A diverse and gender-equal working environment that both men and women find attractive, contributes to a creative and innovative organization that fits the society better.
The general goal of GAIA is that of advocacy for women in earth sciences, in order to achieve gender equality.
GAIA will mutually promote the exchange of information and experience among women, through lectures, workshops, excursions and dinners. Gaia will map the current state of the earth science labor market and the barriers that women face during recruitment and promotion and will seek to contribute to viable solutions in order to improve this situation. Proposals will be made to better meet the needs of women so that the talent of these women will flourish (more info below: GAIA-career research).
The target group of GAIA is every woman with an earth science background, career or interest. The earth sciences term includes the fields of geology, physical geography, hydrology, geochemistry, geophysics, petroleum engineering, ground water and atmosphere, soil science and environmental science. Our members are either students or work for, among others, universities and research institutes, consultancies and large technological institutes (LTIs) in raw materials and energy, at regional and national governmental positions.
GAIA's name stems from the Greek goddess of the earth. GAIA developed from the wild and empty space, Chaos, like a round disk that separated Uranus (the sky) from Tantaros (the underworld). All the other gods and mythological creatures emerged from her marriage to Uranus. The logo of GAIA is the bust of the Greek goddess.
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 organization of the National Women's Council and the European Platform of Women Scientists.