Since the release of our SEPM DEI Survey in 2020, SEPM has made direct efforts to listen and pay attention to the needs and concerns of our membership, particularly in the area of DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion). To better track the results and outcomes of this survey, we have formally released the results in our New SEPM Miscellaneous Publication #22 - DEI Survey Summary Report.
Take a look at the Executive Summary below and share your thoughts and opinions. You may access the full publication, survey details and responses by downloading here.
The purpose of this survey was to gain a snapshot of the diversity of the both the SEPM Society of Sedimentary Geology membership and the sedimentary geoscience community. With repetitive offering of this survey, SEPM hopes to track the overall diversity of the community and how its membership compares. A goal of STEM is increase its diversity and to be inclusive of all people to better expand the understanding of science and in our case of the earth and its sedimentary crust.
While there are about 2% of the respondents questioned the need for such a survey as SEPM is foremost a scientific society, SEPM leadership recognizes that all science is done by people and thus their diversity of viewpoints often coming from many cultural backgrounds is a very important aspect of any progress within a science. Unconscious bias remains a constant characteristic of most all individuals and is mostly correlated with an individual’s background of experiences no matter their demographic. SEPM considers it an important responsibility of scientific societies to ensure that all individuals interested in that science topic feel welcome and safe as members and can be free to contribute to the enhancement of the science.
Over 800 individuals participated in an anonymous survey with questions about their persona, including gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity as well more standard demographics of age, career position, etc. While this first survey data point does have a majority of input by senior, white, male respondents (55%), we hope that future surveys will include a much more diverse input. The 702 SEPM members that responded represents about one-third of total membership at the time. However the results show that even with this relatively small sample of the community and SEPM membership, there is a large diversity of individuals across all of the areas that the survey covers.
This report was compiled by Howard Harper with comments and edits from the SEPM ad hoc DEI Committee (Michael Blum, Peter Burgess, Anjali Fernandes, Christopher Jackson, Dawn Jobe, Erin Pemberton, Keriann Pederson, Celina Suarez and Marina Suarez). SEPM is thankful to this group for its input to SEPM on this topic. The SEPM Council continues to follow up on the many recommendations from this ad hoc committee, one of which is to repeat this survey periodically and review changes in both SEPM’s and the sedimentary geoscience community’s diversity. The next edition of this survey will occur in 2022.