Innovative science benefits from diversity of thought and influence at all waypoints along the scientific journey, from early education to career-length contributions in research and mentorship. Scientific societies, like the Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM), steward their innovators and the direction of the science, thereby defining the societal impact and evolution of a discipline. They are uniquely positioned to promote the representation and success of all scientists, including those from minoritized populations, through proactive advocacy, and inclusive mentorship, awards, and leadership. We introspectively review available records of SEPM membership, leadership, awardees, and editorial boards to identify areas for growth and begin a dialogue about how the society and its members can work together to better reflect our community. In the last decade, SEPM has seen a decline in membership, while representation and recognition of scientists from minoritized groups has remained low. Awards and honors have overwhelmingly gone to men, even in the last ten years, and very few women or people of color are in leadership roles. SEPM has recently taken positive steps towards becoming more inclusive (e.g., the Code of Professional Conduct); however, much more work is needed. We provide recommendations for swift actions that SEPM and its members should undertake for the society to become a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment where all scientists thrive. The systemic changes needed will take continuous effort, which must be shared by all of us, to build an enduring legacy that we can be proud of.
The Sedimentary Record
Fernandes, A.M., Abeyta, A., Mahon, R.C., Martindale, R., Bergman, K.D., Jackson, C., Present, T.M., Swanson, T., Reano, D., Butler, K., Brisson, S., Mohrig, D., Johnson, C. , “Enriching Lives within Sedimentary Geology”: Evaluating SEPM’s Role in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: The Sedimentary Record, 18(3), 4-12, https://www.sepm.org/files/183article.ly3dwq3vr5refg6g.pdf