The workshop was really a great success. We had plenty of folks there working together to discuss issues faced by many minority groups within the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and solutions that the society could implement to help our members from diverse backgrounds.
In short, one of the biggest solutions we came up with was increasing representation of diverse members among leadership and in the public’s views. Whether that was through having more people of diverse backgrounds take positions in leadership or continuing the Women in Paleo luncheon or making the LGBT+ dinner an official part of SVP. We also came up with the idea of mentorship programs for students and early career scientists to help those navigate the field and advise on some of the difficulties that they may come by.
There are many other topics that we touched on, gender bias being another major one, that we will be writing up and including in some kind of article that summarizes the workshop.
One of the most important parts of the workshop was that the VP of SVP, Emily Rayfield, participated in the discussion and that all of what we had discussed will be passed on to the newly formed Diversity Committee at SVP to help them move forward.
I will share the article soon as its ready!
This is only the beginning of positive change for SVP and hopefully for the rest of paleontology and science in general!