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#1
danielle

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[note: the original top post is below, post #8]

I'm so sorry to hear that! Maybe it's a regional thing? The places I've worked have always been pretty evenly split male/female for GIS staff. University was also well- balanced, and local conferences too. This is in the northeast US. It's in the engineering field where we still have more men, but I don't think I've ever been the only woman at an event.

Hopefully you will hear from some women in Australia you can begin networking with.

I noticed this on the ESRI User Conference schedule: ESRI UC-Women in GIS. Maybe you can sign up for the group, even if you're not attending.

Edited by Hans van der Maarel, 06 June 2012 - 04:50 AM.
explanation


#2
Gretchen Peterson

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My advice is to not walk out of places just because you are the only woman there. You have just as much to contribute as anyone there regardless of race, gender, or age. In such situations, just consider yourself a pioneer, and the more power to you.

My newest book (to be published soon!) has many outstanding maps made by 25 cartographers, 7 of whom are women.

One thing I have noticed: there are more men promoting themselves by making sure they've got their portfolios online and publicly accessible. More women in the profession--even if you are in academia or a part of a large firm--should have their individual portfolios posted--this helps them get "discovered".

Also, I noted that after I published a blog post saying that I wasn't soliciting any new maps for my book, I still had two cartographers email me to tell me about their work--both men. Guess what? Both of their maps made it into the book! To succeed: get out there and get noticed.

#3
Matthew Hampton

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Hi there,

We have a local chapter called WIGIS (Women in GIS) that is sponsored by URISA and I urge you to reach out to them. While it's location is based in Oregon and SW Washington, it is a supportive community.

Perhaps you could start your own chapter in Australia?

I know you aren't the only Aussie woman who uses GIS professionally and it sounds like making some connections could help everyone out.

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#4
David Medeiros

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Must be a regional (or national thing), there seem to be quite a few women in GIS in the states, or at least the Bay Area. I work three part time jobs (well two part time, one contract). In all three cases my direct supervisor is a woman. Not sure what to say other than keep at it, if there aren't enough women in GIS in your area now then that's a perfect opportunity for you to be the role model to help pull them in. Good luck!

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#5
p-dub

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Keep yer chin up. I hope that you are just being too sensitive and that you aren't actually being excluded because of your gender. My alma mater, Texas State University, had a group, Supporting Women in Geogrphy (SWIG) and it looks to be national: http://swig.igenpage.com/groups.htm.

Get back in touch with those women from your postgrad course and start your own Aussie Women in Geo (AWiG). Chartering an organization might just jump start your career...

Best Luck,

PW

#6
Caitlin Dempsey

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Don't be discouraged. Individual GIS shops can get lonely, especially if there are only one or a few people working directly in your group. The gender balance in GIS tends to vary, depending on the industry. Don't let it intimidate you. If you project a confidant attitude about your presence in your workplace and at meetings, people will take you more seriously, even if you're the only woman present.

Do you belong to the Women in GIS group on LinkedIn? If not, I suggest that you join. There are over 1200 members and growing, so it's a great place to connect with other women in your field: http://www.linkedin....n-in-GIS-142725. I would use that and the other Women in GIS resources being suggested to make online connections with other women in GIS and to find local opportunities to connect with women in Australia who work in GIS.

My last suggestion is to connect with a mentor. You mentioned feeling isolated and that's causing you anxiety. A mentor will help guide you through some of the issues you're having connecting to your coworkers and developing yourself as a respected professional. Are there any women in management positions at your company that you feel you could gain some sage advice from? She wouldn't have to be directly in GIS, it just needs to be someone you can go out to lunch with or sit down with once a month who can help you set up your development milestones for your career and offer you advice.

Caitlin

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#7
Hilary Perkins

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When I was in Adelaide a few years ago, I spoke to a women in GIS group there. I can try and track down contact info for you if you're interested.

#8
anonymous-admin

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[note: this is a repost of the orignal, made by an admin as the original poster would like to be anonymous. please pretend this is the top post in the thread]

I am a woman in GIS and have been working for various government organisations for the last few years in GIS.

I came here today because of the fact is - I am horribly lonely, in every role I work in I am the only woman in the team, and it has been this way since my first GIS job (which was the only job where there were other women in the team).

Where is everyone? my GIS course I did had at least half or more women in the class. Maps themselves are very visual, which a lot of women like to work in (look at graphic designers). I assume maybe they get put off by the coding aspect but I don't even know any coding (ok a tiny bit of python).

Today there was a free GIS presentation in the city. I walked in, didn't see a single female, walked out. I have been depressed about it all night. Really, why should it matter? I should have been able to just talk to anyone? but it boils down that even though I can talk to men, in the end I feel excluded from the circle. To make it worse I also feel a lot of men don't take me seriously (whenever I send an email about work to someone, they reply back to my (male) boss).

Am I just being too sensitive? sometimes I have felt like crying because of the loneliness and feeling excluded.

#9
Hans van der Maarel

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Argh... I thought I had the perfect plan here.

Okay, so this last post by "anonymous-admin" should be at the top... The original poster had requested the thread to be removed because she wanted to remain anonymous. As admins, we weren't too keen on removing, since there were some really useful replies to it, so we've tried to make it anonymous.
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#10
frax

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Thanks Hans for fixing this.

By the way - we also need more women on CartoTalk!
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#11
cyl_n

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Must be a regional (or national thing), there seem to be quite a few women in GIS in the states, or at least the Bay Area. I work three part time jobs (well two part time, one contract). In all three cases my direct supervisor is a woman. Not sure what to say other than keep at it, if there aren't enough women in GIS in your area now then that's a perfect opportunity for you to be the role model to help pull them in. Good luck!


Hi thanks for all the replies, I read them after I posted a while back and left replying a while as I thought things over. Then I got caught up with work and so on, sorry.

I had to think about it because I wondered if in fact it was being the only woman, or rather the only GIS person, or at least, if I am in a team, we either don't work together or they are away all the time (like in meetings). I think it is probably the latter because as long as I have one or two people I can talk to every now and then during the day I am ok, though it sucks when I have a problem with my work and have to google the answers all the time. I think I was more upset with the GIS group I tried to get involved in (because in most of my roles I don't have anyone to talk to about GIS) and the excluded feeling I got. Also since I do photography as a side hobby (or used to) I got a bit sensitive to guys being technical and exclusive. At my work there is another GIS team nearby (but I have nothing to do with them) and there is a girl there who seems content, so I don't know, maybe it is the lack of interaction of many GIS roles...

of course it would be nice to meet some women, there were a few in my course and I was happy to talk spatial with them. I do feel that women have to be encouraged to work in pure GIS roles, most that I met in my course were doing it as a side interest (e.g majoring in something else).

It would be nice if there was some kind of spatial events for women only in Australia. I would even fly over to another city if it would be worth it. Not to say I dislike men of course, but sometimes I feel really alone (hence my original post)

Thanks again.

On a side note, I feel GIS is lacking in community and the sharing of ideas that is really promoted in I.T, at least from my experience in jobs.

#12
frax

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I just saw this little announcement:

We will be hosting a Women in GIS User Group meeting at the ESRI User Conference this year. The purpose of the meeting will be to explore what type of group we would like to create, what our needs and goals are, etc. We are extending the invitation to any women interested in attending, so please come! The meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 24th from 12-1 at the San Diego Convention Center, Room 24C (please bring your own lunch). Let us know if you have any questions and see you then!


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