Women in science face barriers to professional advancement. One of the most important forums for international climate science is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), where there has been a slow increase in the proportion of women authors since the first assessment in 1990. Shocked? I am guessing not. Diane Liverman and Miriam Gay-Antaki, a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona in the School of Geography and Development, conducted a survey of more than 100 female Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change authors which explores their experience and perceptions, the barriers to their full participation that they identify, and recommendations for improvements. They found that some women reported a positive experience, others felt women were poorly represented and heard and encountered barriers beyond their gender including race, nationality, command of English, and discipline. How much does all this matter? A great deal – especially when this bias could challenge the representativeness, legitimacy, and content of the IPCC reports if they fail to adequately incorporate the scientific expertise of developing countries, indigenous knowledge, a diversity of disciplines in natural and social sciences, and the voice of women. Kind of a big deal – don’t you think?

Join us for the fourth of our five-part series spotlighting women leading the charge to address global warming. We believe there is no better moment to accelerate the cause of gender equality around the world, than by raising the voices of brilliant women who are creating positive change by doing the good thing for the planet.



  • Talking with Mary Robinson about the “hidden women”, the female climate scientists, created the inspiration for her research and paper with Miriam Gay-Antaki (the lead researcher): The Climate for Women in Climate Science: Women Scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • One of the most important components of the paper was, did the women have voice/influence on the research and another was intersectionality – you experience multiple disadvantages because of a number of things associated with your identity.
  • How do you become an author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)? Diana illustrates the process and the significant changes we have seen since the IPCC inception in 1988.
  • Pop Quiz! Name two female political leaders that have historically taken climate change most seriously? The answer and the “why” are shared on this podcast.
  • What happened when female scientists were asked about their own experiences versus the experiences of others? It is one of the most fascinating results of this research paper! Listen to hear more.
  • What have been some of the initial results of this work? One result is that a Gender Task Force is being established for the IPCC. Listen to this podcast to hear others!
  • Why are we not seeing more coverage of climate change on mainstream media? Diana has been a climate scientist for 40 years and has thoughts as to why mainstream media is not paying attention and why adaptation is an absolute priority.
  • Dynamic dialogue about the United States current political state, research and data sharing and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on this podcast.


  • Learn more about Diana on her website
  • Read Miriam and Diana’s full paper here
  • Learn more about the Carson Scholars Program at the University of Arizona mentioned during this podcast