Between April 11th and 13th, 2023, Júlia Niero and Heidi Buzato, from Imaflora, in partnership with Queren Luna from SIGMA/SEMAPI, conducted an online training event called “Empowering women through Geotechnology”, which was designed by women and offered exclusively to women.

The event was inspired by a similar event the women attended in May 2022 at Arizona State University, called “Train the Trainers: Empowering Women in Geographic Information Systems and Environmental Sciences”, in partnership with SERVIR-Amazonia. It brought together university students from the north of Brazil closer to geospatial technologies, contributing to their technical and professional development in this area. The gender issue was also guided in this training, making the participants reflect on the inequalities suffered in the academic and work environment, and how we can strengthen ourselves in these spaces.

A total of 11 participants from 2 universities from the Brazilian Amazon took part in the training event that was divided into 3 sessions:

On day one, participants discussed women in science and careers in technology, and reflected on the possible reasons for the disparity in science between men and women, and why some areas are still difficult for women to break into. Participants were also invited to look at their own career paths and create a mentoring map, with people from their own circle, who can potentially help them to achieve their professional and personal goals.

The technical sessions began on day two, with a practical class on PostgreSQL/PostGIS spatial databases. Participants were shown how databases can transform the way we query and manipulate spatial data, and provide greater flexibility, automation, and security for processes.

The final day was focused on an Introduction to Google Earth Engine, a free platform that enables numerous applications and spatial analysis for ​​geoprocessing and remote sensing.

Despite the limitations of learning remotely, the participants fed back that the event was very valuable. Training sessions such as these make it possible to reflect on professional experience in a way that goes beyond technical considerations and encourages participants (both professional and academic) also to consider gender issues that influence them in their daily lives and their careers.

Authors: Júlia Niero Costa – Imaflora.