X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN Skip to main content

During the month of March, we will be celebrating the month of women, focusing on the empowerment of women and their work in the Geospatial world. From SIGGMA we wish to enhance the role that some of the great female personalities have had in different generations, both national and international, who contributed and contribute to the advancement of Geodesy, Surveying, Topography and Geomatics.

Why is the union of women and men important in this and all fields?

To address this issue, we believe it is convenient to cite some fragments of statements offered by the United Nations at the International event “The Challenges and Challenges of Women in the XXI Century” (see reference:  ONU).

"Only with men and women living together in equality will it be possible to solve political conflicts, economic growth, disease prevention, climate change and, ultimately, guarantee the sustainability of the world."

"Investing in the potential and education of women and defending their rights promises a more equitable and prosperous future since women represent that half of humanity that will include workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, tutors, political leaders ..."

"Gender equality is not only a development objective in itself, but an essential means to achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals"

"This is an exciting time for women in all countries: Governments are recognizing that they cannot continue to develop and prosper without fully considering half of the population."

The performance of women in the Geospatial world

Although women have always been present in the geospatial world, their participation has been discreet but tangible. An example of this is the case of the Venezuelan, Teresa Sánchez, Geodesta Engineer with a specialty in Photogrammetry, who was the first professor and first Director of the first School of Geodetic Engineering of Venezuela, at the University of Zulia. To whom we owe, like her, co-author, the book Fotogrammetría II and who served as editor of the Cartography and Geodesy Bulletin. But we can cite many more names, and among our readers we will surely be able to find many important references.

However, although the participation of women in this world of science is active and constant, the transition from the university to the labor field for this genre continues to be complicated, in the 21st century many difficulties and obstacles continue to be encountered in professional opportunities despite the fact that in many countries and regions women are now on par with or surpassing men when it comes to academic diplomas and degrees.

This is particularly true in science and technology, where few women run scientific institutions or large technology companies. Women are equally underrepresented in research and development, be it at the university level, the public sector or private companies.

According to the academic secretary of the Institute of Astronomy (IA) in the world, women are, on average, only 29% of researchers in any of these fields, a very low percentage if we consider that half of humanity are women.

But and this has always been the case, how was it before?

According to Aristotle (384-322 BC), the term geodesy, from the Greek γη (“earth”) and δαιζω (“divide”) can mean both “geographical divisions of the earth” as well as the act of “dividing the earth “, for example, between owners. Geodesy is, at the same time, Earth Science and Engineering. It deals with the lifting and representation of the shape and surface of the Earth, global and partial, with its natural and artificial forms. Geodesy is also used in mathematics for measurement and calculation on curved surfaces.

As we mentioned initially, all these fields have traditionally been considered masculine.

And if we analyze the history of geodesy, and the list of important names in this science, we can observe that men have been more present than women (example: the names of the most popular ellipsoids are due to their creators, in general, mens).

While the facts show that there is no significant difference between the sexes in job performance, people generally associate men with math and science, and women with the humanities and care services. These stereotypes permeate society and persist in the university environment and in the media.

This does not mean that women have not played a determining role in the history of Geodesy and the like, this is perhaps the result that women are still not adequately represented in geosciences and many of the “glass ceilings” in many others fields are yet to be destroyed.

Breaking paradigms

The evolution of the curves is changing, the trend is the increase of women enrolled in the Geodesic Engineering schools of Venezuela. The future will be diverse both female and male, the challenges that do not await, for example, climate change and global actions require a joint and massive effort. Digital trends will be at the forefront and our geospatial professions have a privileged future to solve these challenges.

As the American writer and political activist Hellen Keller said:

"I'm not the only one, but I'm still somebody. I can't do everything, but I can still do something. And just because I can't do everything, I won't give up doing what I can ”.

For all this, from SIGGMA, we are …

Working to achieve the objectives of our association and with the intention of enhancing the geospatial world.

Particularly in the month of women, we invite you to follow closely and participate in the activities that we will carry out, in what we have called “The month of geospatial women”, whose opening took place this Saturday, March 6 with the teachers Ileanis Arenas and Luz Bacaicoa from the University of Zulia, who told us live from Instagram about their experiences,


“How did we get to study Engineering, by vocation, by imitation or simply by destiny? What is it like to be a woman in the world of Geodesy? How do we see the future of geospatial women? Are we ready? Are we participating in trainings and training that allow us to be competitive? Are we aware of the role we must play in a world like ours? “

We extend this invitation not only to our SIGGMA community but to all those who like to participate and join, emphasizing that this month, although it is dedicated to women, does not put aside the male gender, on the contrary, we invite you to participate and tell us from your perspective, experiences and experiences what you have lived near a geospatial woman.

“Because female empowerment does not favor only women, it enriches the entire society”

Stay connected with us!

Yoelma Rodríguez. SIGGMA Vice President