Women Leadership


Implicit/Unconscious Bias - Women Leadership in Marine Technology Event, January 12, 2-3 p.m. 


Supplemental links and materials for this webinar:

Suggestions for Addressing Implicit Bias Handout

Project Implicit Quizzes: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/selectatest.html

New York Times and PBS Point of View Videos on Implicit Bias: https://ninepbs.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/pov-biased-lpclips/who-me-biased/

Upcoming Webinar Dates

To be held the second Wednesdays of the month. Save the dates!

  • Wage Gap Panel Discussion - April 13, 2022
  • Topic to be Announced - July 13, 2022
  • Topic to be Announced - October 12, 2022

We Do Not Need Saving, We Need Allies - Women Leadership in Marine Technology Event, October 13, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.


Empowerment is a critical element of gender equality, however gender equality is not a "women's issue," nor can it be advanced solely through women's efforts. Men are important actors who can share the responsibility and participate actively in this agenda.

Why? Because men continue to hold many of the influential decision-making positions. Working in partnership with women, men can be game-changers in transforming cultures and institutions that uphold harmful gender norms.

  • In what ways do you see men working toward gender equality?
  • Realizing that starting conversations can often be uncomfortable, how have you gone about asking women how you can help as an ally for gender equity?
  • Have you experienced any workplace backlash (from leadership or colleagues) by serving as an ally?
  • Are there any existing programs or exemplars for creating make allies or mentoring men to be allies that you could point to for others to try to implement within their organizations?
  • What would you suggest to get more men to participate in events focused on gender equality?


Dr. W. Brad Johnson - Professor of Psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law at the United States Naval Academy, and a faculty associate in the Graduate School of Education at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. David Smith - is Associate Professor of Sociology in the College of Leadership and Ethics at the United States Naval War College.

Brian McComak – Founder, Hummingbird Humanity, is a diversity & inclusion consultant, speaker, author and facilitator with over 25 years of experience.

Andrea G. Tatum –Founder, AGT Diversity Consulting, is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant, facilitator, and public speaker. She's had a wide range of experiences from the arts to tech and has held roles at Tableau, Salesforce, and most recently, Catalyst Inc., a non-profit with the mission of creating workplaces that work for women.

Liesl Hotaling, MTS VP of Publications & Communications, Moderator

Dr. Dick Crout, MTS VP of Section Affairs

Download documents discussed in this event here:

Representation Matters Document

Inclusive Language Guide

We Need Allies Resource Guide





Women Leadership in Marine Technology and Science webinar, July 7, 2021

View event recording here

View event slides here

View event summary slides here

View breakout room session notes here

As part of the U.N. Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development – Ocean Decade Laboratory Series (https://www.oceandecade-conference.com/en/an-inspiring-and-engaging-ocean.html), MTS held a the Women Leadership in Marine Technology and Science on July 7. 

The core Ocean Decade Laboratory event can be watched here:  Core Event as well as the Wrap-up. The Decade also created a documentary of the Core Event which you can see here. 


MTS hosted a satellite event that was a two-part session discussing challenges and opportunities for women in marine technology and science.

Part 1 - Panel

The panel featured women from the ocean science and marine technology fields to share their pathways (career and personal). Panelists included:

Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright is the Founder and CEO of 7 Mile Bay. She served as the first female Executive Secretary and Assistant Director General of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) in Paris from 2010 to 2015 and was the inaugural CEO of the Atlantic Canadian-led Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) (2016 to 2019).  For most of her career, Dr. Watson-Wright held various senior positions within Fisheries and Oceans Canada, including eight years as its Assistant Deputy Minister of Science. She is currently a member of and Gender Focal Point for the United Nations Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP). A Killam scholar, she holds a Ph.D. in Physiology from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Dr. Shakila Merchant is the Director of the City University of New York (CUNY) High School Initiative in Remote Sensing (HIRES) Program & Associate Director NOAA Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies (CESSRST) Center. She holds degrees in Biology and Zoology and a PhD in Environmental Science & Engineering. She has more than 10 years of experience in Ecosystem Health and Risk Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment. Dr. Merchant developed NOAA JPSS Students Professional and Academic Readiness with Knowledge in Satellites (SPARKS) program to provide pre-workforce experiential training to graduate students in NOAA JPSS mission sciences by creating synergistic partnership with federal (NOAA) agency and private sectors.

Dr. Deidre Gibson is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Marine and Environmental Science Department at Hampton University. She earned her B.S. in Oceanography from the University of Washington, Ph.D. in Marine Science from the University of Georgia/Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. She is a broadly trained biological oceanographer with research interests centered on the trophic ecology, reproductive biology, and population dynamics of zooplankton, but more specifically, gelatinous zooplankton, and currently oyster restoration. While at Hampton University, she has served as PI on several NSF and NOAA grants that continue to train the next generation of African American marine scientists.

Zdenka Willis, L.L.D. is the CEO of Veraison Consulting and President of the Marine Technology Society, focusing on ocean technology and policy. She retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Senior Executive Service where she was the founding Director of the United States Integrated Ocean Observing Systems (IOOS®) Office. From 2006 to 2007, she was the Director of NOAA’s National Oceanographic Data Center. Ms. Willis retired with the rank of Captain from the United States Navy.

Part 2 – Conversation

Directly after the Panel Discussion, participants were invited to break-out electronically into discussion rooms. We discussed challenges and opportunities including:

  • Making going to sea/field work is equitable
  • Retaining more women in STEM studies and careers
  • Reducing prejudice/stereotyping of women’s abilities
  • Easily accessible resources for managing relationships with majority male colleagues


Event 2  -  July 8 - 15, 2021 - 14:00 – 17:00 ET

MTS in collaboration with Ingenium, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO are pleased to present an Edit-a-thon to create or improve Wikipedia entries to bolster the profiles of women and their contributions to ocean science, engineering, and technology.

Although women and non-binary persons are under-represented in ocean sciences, their accomplishments are even less represented, in both print media and online. Help us bridge this digital gender gap in ocean sciences! Join us to edit, add, or translate Wikipedia entries for women and non-binary individuals in ocean science. We’ll provide you with a crash course on Wikipedia editing, and in turn, we’re asking you to edit for a good cause. We'll also be joined by special invited guests so don't miss out!

This event will formally be a three-hours on July 8 and will feature a keynote speaker to inspire the volunteer editors (i.e. event participants) followed by a basic training for editing Wikipedia. Organizers will provide the volunteer editors with an opportunity for Q&A and also brainstorming/assignment of a list of people or organizations for whom the group will create or edit pages.  

The event will be recorded and available for asynchronous participation to accommodate as many schedules and time zones as possible. Participants will be given seven days to perform the edits as part of this event.


Bilingual (English-French) volunteers in a breakout room set up for the instructional portion of the workshop and to support the editing/creating portion of the program.

Picture a Scientist Film Discussion

Listen to a recording of an interactive panel discussion lead by women in ocean science that was held on October 21, 2020 to discuss the Picture a Scientist film. Panelists include: Nicole LeBoeuf, Acting Assistant Administrator, National Ocean Service, NOAA; Karen St. Germain, Division Director, Earth Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA; Penny Chisholm, Institute Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Biology, MIT; Brandy Armstrong, staff physical oceanographer, University of Southern Mississippi; Mandy Joye, Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia

Picture a Scientist chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries – including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists – who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all.

Picture a Scientist was an official selection of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film’s virtual theatrical run reached 47 theaters across the USA in June 2020, and raised money for two organizations advancing women of color in STEM. The film is currently available for virtual community screenings, and plans are in progress for broadcast and streaming distribution in the coming months.

Join our LinkedIn Group
Women Leadership in Marine Technology and Science

Global OCEANS 2020: Singapore – U.S. Gulf Coast Town Hall – Friday, October 9, 2020



Symposium on Evidence-based Interventions: NSF Taking Action

Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing

Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Archived Events

Empowering Women in the Ocean Decade, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO in partnership with Fisheries and Ocean Canada and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO on November 10, 2020

Women Leadership in Ocean Science and Technology Town Hall on Thursday, December 3, 2020 at the AGU Fall Meeting. (AGU meeting registration required)