Search icon

Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


One of items discussed during our February 2021 series of IAH Executive online meetings was how IAH should support equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in its activities. A summary statement has been drafted to show how we will do this, which is supported by a more detailed document with additional background information.

There are things IAH does already that we believe contribute towards equity, diversity and inclusion. Our graduated membership fees, sponsored members’ scheme and support for lower income attendees at congress are ways that we try to put these aspirations into practice. We are also making videos of some lectures from congresses available on the IAH website, which we hope will help those who are unable be there for various reasons, including family or other commitments, financial constraints, or possibly disability.

Hydrogeology Journal aims for inclusivity by seeking papers from authors and researchers from all parts of the world, who may work under quite different conditions – offering subscription-based publication (no publication fee) or Open Choice and fee discount for IAH members. It also provides English language editing for accepted manuscripts by an IAH-appointed hydrogeologist at no cost to the author. Our Commissions and Networks are open to all. The Burdon Network, in particular, supports members in lower income countries through funded initiatives and other IAH groups and Funds can be used to support our aims under EDI. Efforts are made to actively encourage those early in their careers, via our specialist network and in other ways.

There is clearly more to do. For example, some members have asked for a better balance between men and women speakers and better representation of the global IAH family at congresses. There are opportunities for all IAH groups and members to contribute and we look forward to realising these objectives in the future.

We note that the English terminology presented in the statement is used and perceived differently in different parts of the world. Equity is used in preference to equality in some regions. The summary statement is presented herewith.

IAH’s statement on equity, diversity and inclusion

Properly addressing issues of diversity, inclusion and equity are important for the long-term health and sustainability of the geosciences. IAH is committed to creating an inclusive environment within the Association and through its relationship with other organisations, and to widening participation in all its activities. To this end, the Association commits to promoting equality, equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the IAH communities and groups and to challenging prejudice and discrimination.

IAH commits to promoting inclusion, providing fairness to all our members and equal treatment to all, regardless of age, civil status, class, colour, disability, gender identity, nationality, parental status, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief and sexual orientation. We aim to use gender-neutral and discrimination-free wording and are opposed to all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.

Definitions of terms

IAH recognises that terminology used may be perceived in different ways and commits to reviewing terms where these are shown to be inappropriate for the intended purpose.

  • IAH recognises that terminology used may be perceived in different ways and commits to reviewing terms where these are shown to be inappropriate for the intended purpose.
  • Equity in this document refers to fairness and equality in outcomes, and does not refer just to support and opportunity.
  • Equality means ensuring individuals and groups are treated fairly and equally. This involves taking into account the different experiences and needs of all. Some interpret this as treating each as without difference and without counting their differing attributes. Equity has been used in preference to equality in the summary statement, though the background information also refers to equality.
  • Diversity is recognised by understanding that each individual is different; supporting diversity is known to produce fairer and better outcomes.
  • Inclusion means including or being included within a group or structure. Promoting an inclusive culture is about recognising the value of diversity and providing support that might help all to realise their potential.

Questions or comments?