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Research and theoretical papers
Published: 30-11-2021

“A Space of their Own?” Professional Women’s Groups in the Alberta Resource Sector

University of Calgary

Alicia Dawn Bjarnason

Department of Geography
Gender Gender Inequality Gendered Space STEM Geoscientists Feminist Geography


Throughout the life cycle of a geoscience career gender inequalities still exist, even in the face of legislative and societal change. One response in Alberta Canada is the formation of professional women’s groups. Drawing on feminist geography, the objective of this research was to explore the social relations and power structures involved within the work environment that categorized where women’s groups are created, why they are created, and the strategies used in addressing gender disparities and inequality. This mixed-methods study included an inventory of current groups that exist in Alberta, an online survey to reach professional STEM women within the geoscience community who have been members of one or more professional women’s groups, and in-depth semi-structured interviews with three key actors from an Alberta based group. The information gathered was then supplemented with research performed by two Alberta based grassroots professional women’s groups, the AWSN and GeoWomen. The intended outcomes were to create evidence-based solutions, which in turn will help contribute to concrete solutions to better support professional female geoscientists in Alberta.


Keywords: Gender; Gender Inequality; Gendered Space; STEM; Geoscientists; Feminist Geography

How to Cite

Bjarnason, A. D. (2021). “A Space of their Own?” Professional Women’s Groups in the Alberta Resource Sector. International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 13(2), 163–183. Retrieved from