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'Pushing the limits': Experiences of women in tropical peatland research

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posted on 2019-10-14, 15:34 authored by SA Thornton, S Cook, D Astiani, KA Hapsari, H Varkkey, LES Cole, GC Dargie, S Sjogersten, NZ Zawawi, SE Page
Science fields, including tropical peatland research, are facing persistent under-representation of women. In this perspective piece, we explore, as women at different stages of our career, our personal experiences of 'what is it like to be a woman working in tropical peatland science'? We collected our responses and analysed them thematically. Although we come from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures, our responses all dealt with common issues, such as from practical challenges of being women in the field, persistent sexism, issues of harassment to navigating the politics of research as a woman. The peat swamp is seen as a site of rebellion against traditional gender roles. Senior female role models were also vital for us all, which highlights that mentoring schemes in aquatic and wetland research, as in other science fields, need further consideration and investment. Continuing to improve gender balance is central to effecting a positive change in research culture, and we stress that the issue of the 'bravado' surrounding fieldwork needs to be further explored and challenged. By pushing these 'limits' both in the field and in the academy, we will not only produce a more equal and compassionate working environment, but also ultimately improve our science.

History

Citation

Marine and Freshwater Research, 2019

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/School of Geography, Geology and the Environment/Physical Geography

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Marine and Freshwater Research

Publisher

CSIRO Publishing

issn

1323-1650

Acceptance date

2019-07-12

Copyright date

2019

Available date

2019-10-14

Publisher version

http://www.publish.csiro.au/mf/MF19132

Language

en

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