Towards gender equality in physics – what is medical physics getting right?

14 January 2019

Women in Physics Medical physics

On 12 November 2018 we held a joint meeting with the IOP Medical Physics Group to discuss the roles of women in medical physics and discuss what supports and challenges them in progressing their careers. The scope of the meeting was to explore why it is that medical physics is 'doing better' in recruiting women than other fields and how this positive outcome can be translated to other fields, whilst not overlooking the difficulties still faced by women in medical physics.

The day started with a historical overview of medical physics by Professor Francis Duck, tracing the development of medical physics as a career and the place women had within it, and continued with talks given by women working in different roles within medical physics sharing their own experiences and reflections on the current state of medical physics in academia (Professor Penny Gowland), the NHS (Ursula Johnson), and industry (Guilia Thompson).

These talks were followed by round-table discussions, allowing participants to add their own observations, which were condensed into a number of themes before further discussion to develop suggestions on what can be done to improve the support for women's careers within medical physics, which may well improve their representation in other physics fields.

The discussion was summarised for Physics World.

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