Today is International Women’s Day and we’d like to celebrate our diverse team within CEDA. At present, we have 12 female colleagues who make up approximately 40% of the team. Our roles range from User Support on the helpdesk, to Data Scientists, to Head of CEDA; all falling within Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) areas. Historically, there are inequalities in gender within these areas and we are continually working to improve the balance.
Although we are proud of our current gender ratio of 12 females in 28 staff, we are aware that we currently do not have any females in the core CEDA developer group. Although positively, many of our female staff do develop code essential for data centre tasks. Another inequality that should be addressed is that we don’t currently have any male project managers - gender parity works both ways! We acknowledge these differences and will work towards a more equal balance.
Figure 1: Victoria Bennett, Head of CEDA, sharing her knowledge of Earth Observation data at the Satellite Applications Catapult
One way in which we hope to help increase future ratios is by being actively involved in public engagement activities. We believe it is essential to show girls (and boys) what exciting careers are out there and promote the important role of environmental science within the real world. There are many reasons why people choose STEM careers, but here are a selection of our motivations:
‘Fabulous physics teacher at school’
‘Watching David Attenborough’s documentaries with my family as a child’
‘Following in my parents footsteps of studying physics’
‘School Geography lessons’
Figure 2: Poppy Townsend, CEDA Communications Manager, at a public engagement event in Edinburgh.
We all enjoy our jobs, but the most important thing to us is the fantastic people that we work with and the science that we enable with our work at CEDA. We thrive by working with a diverse mix of interesting and talented people. All of whom help us be involved in cutting edge science projects which help us to piece together the big picture that is our understanding of the environment.
This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme is #PressforProgress. Ultimately, if we work together we can increase gender parity. CEDA are committed to this campaign by ‘maintaining a gender parity mindset’ - ultimately aiming for 50/50 as the goal. Whether that is nominating women for opportunities, or increasing our female/male ratio - we will continue to make our team and workplace a more equal environment.
You can find out more about the campaign here: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/PressforProgress
Figure 3: Our CEDA women - who never seem to be in the same place at the same time for a photo!