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The IOP and diversity and inclusion

Our diversity and inclusion work aims to cultivate an inclusive and diverse physics community which is reflected in our membership and governance structures. Here you’ll find information on our targeted initiatives, key statements, reports and external resources.


We want to make physics more inclusive and to increase the diversity of the physics community at all levels. We will do this by helping to build a thriving, diverse physics community that is welcoming to all, and ensuring that people, no matter their background or where they live, have access to world-class physics education and training.

We recognise that whilst we have come a long way, we still have a very long way to go. We know that we have made great progress in some areas, while others seem to remain the same. We will not be disheartened by slow progress but will continuously strive to create the change that we so passionately want to see.

We will continue to work with our members, the wider physics community, staff and partners, welcoming new voices, perspectives and experiences along the way.

IOP and diversity and inclusion

Small squares containing faces of a diverse range of people.

IOP and diversity and inclusion

We have recently (July 2020) received some questions and challenges about IOP’s approach to diversity and inclusion, our ambitions and our actions so far in this area. We wanted to share these together with our thoughts and reflections on the questions raised.

Find out more
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IOP Awards - past, present and future

Our awards have long celebrated exceptional achievements in physics. We want to continue to develop the awards to ensure they involve the whole physics community.

Find out more

Initiatives

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Project Juno

Project Juno aims to recognise and reward departments and schools of physics institutes and organisations that can demonstrate they have taken action to address gender equality in physics and to encourage better practice for all staff.

Find out more
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Athena Forum

The Athena Forum was established in 2007/8 and is an independent committee supported by the Royal Society to help inform the wider debate on diversity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).

Find out more on the Athena Forum website
Science Council and Royal Academy of Engineering logos

Diversity and Inclusion Progression Framework for Science and Engineering

The D&I Progression Framework was developed in a collaboration between the Royal Academy of Engineering (Academy) and the Science Council to progress diversity and inclusion (D&I) across 63 engineering and science professional bodies. The IOP are a signatory of this framework and regularly participate in the benchmarking exercise.

Find out more about the framework from the Science Council

Download the booklet resource from the Science Council website (PDF, 3.5MB)

Find out more about the framework from the Royal Academy of Engineering
Female and male students in a classroom

Gender Action programme

An award programme created in partnership with King's College London, UCL Institute of Education and the University Council of Modern Languages, has a collection of resources, reports and guidance to help challenge gender stereotypes in schools. 

Find out more on the Gender Action website
Carers' Fund

IOP Carers' Fund

Up to £250 for members who could not otherwise go to an event or conference because they are a parent or carer.

Find out more about the fund
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LGBT+ Physics Sciences Network

Formed in 2016 the LGBT+ Physical Scientists Network brings together members from IOP, the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry with a mission to better drive LGBT+ diversity and inclusion within membership organisations.
 

Find out more
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STEM Disability Committee

We are a founding member of the STEM Disability Committee, a collaborative group of professional bodies committed to finding practical ways to removing the barriers to disabled people studying and working in STEM.

 

Find out more on the STEM Disability Committee website

Key reports

Front cover of 'We are physicists' report

Our latest members' diversity snapshot survey: 'We are physicists'

This report is the third of a series of surveys of our members to help us understand who makes up our membership, their characteristics and some of the issues that they face.

Read the introduction and download the report
Technicians report cover

Technicians: Providing frontline and vital support for student mental health and wellbeing

This report outlines the extent to which technicians are pastorally supporting students and offers a number of recommendations to the higher education and research sector, individual employers and to technicians themselves, in order to ensure that all involved are fully supported.

Download the report (PDF, 836 KB)
Cover of Building Momentum publication

Building momentum towards inclusive teaching and learning

This good practice guide in undergraduate physics undertaken in 2017 was to identify good practice in teaching and learning already adopted by physics departments and share this with others in the sector.

Download the report (PDF, 1MB)
Opportunities from Physics report cover

Opportunities from Physics: Interventions in a multi-ethnic school to increase post-16 participation

From 2009 to 2011 we ran a pilot project to determine which science enhancement and enrichment activities were most effective in stimulating black and ethnic minority students' enjoyment of physics.

The lessons learnt from the pilot are in the report Opportunities from Physics.

Download the report (PDF, 511KB)
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IOP/RSC postdoctoral researcher survey

This joint Institute of Physics and Royal Society of Chemistry project conducted in 2011 investigated the experiences and career intentions of postdoctoral researchers in UK physics and chemistry departments.

Download the full report (PDF, 855KB)

External resources

Two small circles to the top left of the words Advance HE

Advance HE

Advance HE supports the higher education sector to realise the potential of all staff and students, whatever their race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion and belief, or age, to the benefit of those individuals, higher education institutions and society.

Athena SWAN Charter: recognising advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.

Race Equality Charter: improving the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.

Two white lines on green background with words Equality and Human Rights commission.

Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is to help Britain develop in a way that values the ideals that most of us hold dear – respect, freedom, equality, dignity and fairness.

White star on red background with word Stonewall

Stonewall

Founded in 1989 by a small group of people who had been active in the struggle against Section 28 of the Local Government Act, Stonewall works to achieve equality and justice for lesbians, gay, bi and trans people (LGBT+).

Three different colour circles within each other and the word WISE.

The WISE Campaign

The Women Into Science and Engineering (WISE) campaign collaborates with industry and education to encourage UK girls of school age to value and pursue STEM or construction related courses in school or college, and to move on into related careers.