Diversity and inclusion
Making the physics community more welcoming and supportive for people from all backgrounds
Making the physics community more representative of society is one of the core goals of the IOP, set out in its latest strategy document. We want people from all backgrounds to make physics a satisfying career, whether in education, research, healthcare, industry or business. We know that for physics to help solve the challenges facing us today in healthcare, the environment, and the economy, we need to draw on talent, insights and perspectives from all parts of society.
We have been working to understand and remove barriers to wider participation in physics since 2006, but we recognise the world of physics still has further to go.
Below we set out our current initiatives on this vitally important topic.
Giving voice to inclusion
We recognise that our members, and non-members, have important insights to contribute to this vital goal. For this reason, in late 2020 we undertook a far-reaching programme of engagement with our members and other people with relevant experience both inside and outside physics. We held focus groups, one-to-one interviews and a undertook a survey of all our members and staff. The outputs of the programme were considered by Council at its February meeting and are now being used to inform activity plans being drawn up by the IOP executive team to drive forward our core goal of making our community more welcoming and supportive for people from all backgrounds.
IOP Awards – past, present and future
Our awards have long celebrated exceptional achievements in physics and this will continue to be the core focus of the awards. We are keen to ensure we recognise excellence everywhere in physics and our awards have expanded in recent years from celebrating pure research to encompass those working in education, industry and business, technician roles, apprentices and those who reach out to the wider community. This year we are making it possible to self-nominate to almost all of our awards, to ensure people from all parts of the physics community have a fair chance of being recognised for their achievements.
IOP Awards analysed by gender over time
As part of our commitment to making physics more representative of wider society, we have analysed the gender balance of our past awards, and we are making all the data available.
Gender has been the main focus of our diversity work over the last few years, however we recognise that gender is only one element of diversity and are looking at how we address this in an appropriate and proportionate way.
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.
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.
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+).
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.