Digital Geography

30. July 2015

GISgirls – where are the women? 4 theses

Typically GIS and geodata nerds are male. Anyhow, 99.9 % of our contacts, freelancer sign ups, comment writers here on the blog are boys. But where are the GIS girls and women?

There must be thousands of well educated, very interested hackathon-proven GIS ladies out there.
In order to getting in touch with that obviously shy species, I formulated 4 theses about GISgirls. Hopefully many active GIS and geodata girls (and women) will read that and comment in the bottom section. I would be very happy to get your feedback!




1. GISgirls are so busy because of their skills

I daresay that GISgirls are widely demanded for integrated projects in every field of digital geography, because they are more empathic and could react fast on changing requirements and teams. That’s why they haven’t got time to post things on the internet and do stuff unrelated to their jobs.


GISgirls are busy


One GIS woman could do both 🙂 Anita Graser. Check out her outstanding blog.

Update: bwilkes posted an interesting story map from Morgan State University with the title: Women in GIS: Helping Map a Better World. Have a look on the fullscreen map, or add your name to the map if you’re a woman in GIS. The map contains 5 topics: 1. Women in education, 2. Women in business, 3. Women at non-profits, 4. Women in government, 5. Students and women who previously worked in GIS.

2. GISgirls aren’t intrested in GISboys

Sometimes GISboys could be quite irritating I must confess. Long hair, ugly jokes and nerd-like projects. Actual they aren’t so nasty as you think :). Try to get in touch with them, they won’t bite.

nerds in the wild

Another reason could be, that the strong represention of boys in the comments and authorship of this and some related blogs frighten girls from participating as emancipated member of the group of authors and contributors. Never fear! – GISgirls are happily invited to join our blog.

3. GISgirls love to do rather the thematic stuff than the basics

It could be, that girls and women are rather drivers than mechanics. They aren’t interested in the technical backgrounds of some GDAL-operations or python-scripts, but in achieving project goals and exploring new conclusions for recent questions based on the usage of GIS and geodata techniques. The combination of spatial comprehension with grasp of technical methods and sensitiveness for the issue is a wanted skillset for interdisciplinary projects.

4. GISgirls use other communities

My last idea is, that girls might rely on other sources of information. Often they use verbal interaction to solve problems. Boys usually read blogs and google results for hours in order to avoid social contact to anyone.


What can we, as blog and as boys, do to raise your attention and participation?

Join our free freelancer listing, if you’re interested: GIS and geodata freelancer list and be an author of this blog. Please write us: info@digital-geography.com

P.S. In the line with the research for this article, I found the interesting Association for Women Geoscientist. Maybe It could be interesting for you out there.