Women in Esri Support

Blog Post created by lenhardt.julia on Aug 3, 2015
In 2014, Dr. Linda Loubert from Morgan State University put together a crowd-sourced Story Map of women in GIS to celebrate Women's History Month and to highlight the number of women working in GIS professions. The Story Map, "Women in GIS: Helping Map a Better World," has over 50,000 views and contains thousands of data points representing women across the globe who work with GIS in various sectors.

Because GIS is a relatively new science, there tends to be a higher percentage of women in the field compared to other hard sciences. A 2013 study from Yale revealed strong evidence of a continued preference for men in scientific fields such as chemistry, physics, and biology. For example, of all the physics professors in the United States in 2013, only 14% were women. But in the realm of GIS and in Esri Support in particular, we're beating the odds.

Esri Support Services has two offices in the United States—one in Redlands, CA and the other in Charlotte, NC. Between the two, there are almost 150 Support Analysts segmented into different technological teams: Desktop, Geodata, Server Usage and Implementation, and SDK. Out of all the analysts, 33% are women.

There are 48 women in Esri Technical Support:
20 in Desktop, 13 in Geodata, 8 in SDK, and 7 in Server.

The distribution of women in Esri Support Services differs depending on technology. The biggest crew of women is (predictably) on the biggest support team, the Desktop team. Twenty ladies provide rocking support for ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcGIS Online, extensions, and much more, but other teams have some pretty admirable numbers, as well. The relative contribution to our teams (the percentage of women) tops out at an impressive 46% on the Geodata team (my team—I’m so proud). Desktop is the runner-up with 41% of the team being women, and the SDK and Server Usage teams are 36% and 23% women, respectively.

Geodata has the highest percentage of female analysts out of all the technological teams.

The fact that female analysts make up such a large percentage of the technical experts at Esri says a lot about our company and about GIS technology, in general. There are growing numbers of women in geographic sciences, and there are plenty of examples of fantastic women out in the field, in the classroom, and here in the software world. Esri's own chief scientist, Dawn Wright, is a prominent ocean scientist and geographer who contributes her extensive knowledge and experience to make a positive impact on the global environment using GIS. She is a powerful example of what women can offer the world through spatial sciences, and personally, I think it's really cool to support the technology that she and many others put to such good use.

As a woman on the Support Services team and especially as a female scientist, geographer, and analyst, I'm happy to represent women in sciences alongside the many other talented people here at Esri. These women are from all over the world, all walks of life; with PhDs, children, and serious rock climbing habits. Some of us run marathons, some write books, and some have degrees in geography, international development, archaeology, political science, hydrology, Earth systems science, in addition to our degrees and certificates in GIS. So here's a big cheers—to all the women in Esri Support, the Esri worldwide community, and the field of GIS!

Women in Support: Redlands, CA


Women in Support: Charlotte, NC

Julia L. - Geodata Support Analyst