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Words of Wisdom from our Associates on International Women's Day '24

Updated: Mar 8

International Women's Day

On this International Women's Day, we must recognise the indispensable role of women in climate resilience, particularly in coastal areas where they face disproportionate impacts. Leveraging geo-data is crucial in crafting equitable solutions and targeted strategies, transcending Global North-South divides. Let us celebrate the synergy of science and resilience as we strive for a sustainable future where every voice is heard.

- Réseau Associate Dr. Pooja Mahapatra

Dr. Rebecca Essamuah

Panel Discussion featuring Dr. Nikelene McLean and Dr. Rebecca Essamuah highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion in science and decision making at the 5th GEO Blue Planet Symposium.

The Importance of Inclusivity in the Geospatial Science Arena

History has shown us that women’s roles in society have supported the stability, progress and development of many nations. History has also shown us that women have had to overcome numerous barriers in order to pursue their passions and contribute to society in a meaningful way. In today’s world, women continue to challenge the status quo and push boundaries that previously restricted women’s access to highly technical fields such as geospatial science. It is our duty as practitioners to continue to inspire and empower other women and girls to pursue careers in geospatial science and emphasise the importance of elevating female voices in the arena.

At the 5th GEO Blue Planet Symposium Accra, Ghana - an event geared towards exploring ways in which Earth observations can be used to address marine and coastal issues in western Africa - I had conversations with female students from local universities who were interested in understanding how to navigate the barriers women face when pursuing technical careers in fields typically dominated by men. I encouraged these students to work towards their goals as though barriers did not exist. I emphasised that there is a need for female inclusion in technical fields such as geospatial science, as women bring fresh perspectives that are essential for driving the progress and innovation needed to support sustainable development globally. I also encouraged these students to be bold, take advantage of opportunities and to do whatever is required to become the foremost authority on their topic of interest.

In recognition of International Women’s Day 2024, I wish to share this advice with other women and girls who are interested in pursuing a career in geospatial science: work towards your academic, research and professional goals relentlessly because your insights, expertise and perspectives are needed to advance the world.


- Réseau Associate Dr. Nikelene McLean

Nikelene McLean

Don't be afraid to define your own path. Don't box yourself within traditional applications or be afraid to explore how your passions can intersect with geospatial tech. 
- Réseau Associate Omowonuola Akintola

A moment of honour to the women in the geospatial community

Your dedication, passion and commitment have not only shaped our communities, but have inspired countless others. As grassroots women and researchers, you are the architects of change in a field that relies on the intricate connections between data and space.

Remember you are more than data points on a map. You are driving force behind advancements that bridge the gap between technology and humanity. Whether you are mapping out environmental changes, ensuring disaster resilience, or empowering communities through spatial analysis, your work has a profound impact on our global community.

This international women’s day I celebrate you, I celebrate the potential within each of you to make a long-lasting difference.

May our maps be as bold as our dreams and our journeys as vast as the landscape we explore.

- Réseau Associate Nicera Wanjiru Kimani

MENA Geospatial Forum

Réseau Associate Marwa Farouk ElKabbany acts as Chairperson and forum advisor at the MENA Geospatial Forum in the UAE, presenting how SDGs can leverage the capabilities of earth observation and geospatial intelligence.

There will be setbacks, but remember that persistence pays off

Persistence Pays Off:

  • Your journey won’t always be smooth. There will be setbacks, but remember that persistence pays off. When faced with obstacles, channel your inner cartographer - recalculate, adjust, and keep moving forward.

Dream Big, Map Bigger:

  • Dream audaciously. Imagine maps that transform lives, cities, and entire regions. Whether it’s smart cities, disaster response, or conservation, your maps can shape a better world.

Embrace Your Journey:

  • Your path in this industry is uniquely yours. Embrace it fully, knowing that every twist, turn, and challenge contributes to your growth. Be open to learning, adapting, and evolving.

Sustainability Champions:

  • Earth intelligence isn’t just a buzzword; it’s our responsibility. Use your skills to champion sustainability. Map ecosystems, monitor climate change, and contribute to a greener, more resilient planet.

Lift Others Along the Way:

  • Success isn’t just about personal achievements; it’s about lifting others. Mentor, support, and amplify the voices of fellow women. Together, we rise higher.


- Réseau Associate Marwa Farouk ElKabbany

Focus on developing technical skills and building a strong professional network

For women who aspire to pursue a career in geospatial technology, it is crucial to focus on developing technical skills and gaining a deep understanding of the tools and applications used in the industry. Identifying a specific niche within the field is essential to thriving and excelling in this dynamic and rapidly evolving industry. Building a strong professional network is also integral, as social capital often offers valuable opportunities. Embracing visibility and fearlessly tackling challenges, no matter how daunting, is a hallmark of successful professionals.

- Réseau Associate Keren Asaba

The power to nurture can be a transformative force

Dear Woman in Geospatial, while you are celebrating International Day for Women, It is also the time to reflect and evaluate how has your being a Geo female leader impacted the people and environment you lead?

It's time for women to channel their nurturing instincts at work and bring out the best in people. The power to nurture can be a transformative force, fostering unity and effectiveness within organisations and mentorship arenas.

Women have the capacity to create environments that inspire growth and bring out the potential in others. By supporting each other, we elevate the collective strength of our gender, breaking barriers and setting new standards for workplace inclusivity.

Cheers to women who bring out the best in others. Caregivers foster great workplaces by playing a significant role in shaping our world, and it’s essential that we continue to recognise, value, and uplift their voices. We should endeavour to ‘Inspire Inclusion', with no boundaries but rather by harnessing collective responsibility to challenge stereotypes, break down barriers, and create a world where every woman from all races, tribes and religions can unleash their full potential.

- Réseau Associate Stella Chelangat Mutai

Catherine Odera
Catherine Odera

By championing inclusivity, we are creating space for everyone, regardless of gender, race, or background

Women in Geospatial are the architects of change, mapping out new possibilities where others see boundaries. Our passion and expertise are the driving forces behind the advancement in our field, propelling us towards a future where diversity is not just valued but celebrated.

Women bring a different perspective that shapes our understanding of the world around us. By championing inclusivity, we are creating space for everyone, regardless of gender, race, or background, to thrive and contribute to making our world a better place.

Together, let's continue to inspire inclusion in the Geospatial domain.

Our goal should be to empower and advocate for the next generation of women to pursue their dreams fearlessly, knowing that they belong in these spaces. Let us amplify each other's voices, lifting one another as we climb higher with the aim of breaking the glass ceilings.

Today and every day, let's celebrate the women who went before us and inspire us with their brilliance, resilience, and unwavering commitment to making the world a better place through innovation.


- Réseau Associate Catherine Odera

Happy International Women's Day! 🌟🌍 #InspireInclusion #IWD2024 #GeospatialWomen



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