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Equality and Diversity

Equality and Diversity

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunities.

The progress of the Physics department in championing good work practices that benefit all members of our physics community has been recognised by Juno Champion award from the Institute of Physics, and Athena SWAN silver award.

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The Women in Physics (WiP) group includes all the women physicists: undergraduate, postgraduate, researchers and academics at Royal Holloway.

The postgraduate, researchers and academics in the group meet for lunch once a month while everyone meets about twice a term.

Some of the events we have had so far include:

  • Coffee with fourth year women students to discuss PhD studies (which occurs annually)
  • International Women's Day meeting (annual event)
  • Talks by PhD studies on what is so inspiring about their research (including a rap by one speaker and a poster presentation by another)
  • Discussions of Summer Placement Opportunities
  • Guest lecture from Dr Jo Pelly, who studied physics as an undergraduate, completed a metereology PhD and is now a patent attorney at Boult Wade Tennant. 
  • Discussion of IOP Project Juno, Women in Physics and why we chose to study physics
  • Guest lecture from Physics alumnus Michelle Tutt. She now works as an Highway Engineer
  • A Welcome to first years! guest lecture by Dr Jocelyn Monroe
  • Guest lecture from Professor Bernice from the Psychology department at Royal Holloway
  • Ice cream making with our Outreach Officer
  • Guest lecture by Dr Jeanne Wilson from Queen Mary’s, University of London
  • A ‘know your women scientists’ game and report from women that took part in summer placements to welcome our first years
  • Guest lecture by Professor Jenny Thomas from University College London
  • Guest lecture by Professor Mary Fowler from Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway
  • The assembly of outreach kits with our Outreach Officer
  • Our first WIP meeting on 25 March 2009.

Did you know that just 20 per cent of new physics graduates nationally and less than five per cent of professors are female? We hope to help address the under-representation of women in university physics by supporting Project Juno, which is an Institute of Physics initiative. 

Project Juno sets out practical ideas for actions that departments can take to achieve equal opportunities in university physics while emphasising the need for dialogue, transparency and openness. It encourages better practice for both women and men through six key principles (implemented through a code of practice). 

Becoming involved in this initiative enables departments to work towards developing an equitable working culture in which all students and staff, men and women, can achieve their full potential.

Royal Holloway is taking a leading role in Project Juno as our department is just one of six to have been awarded Juno Champion status. Currently, 32 university physics departments in the UK are involved in the initiative.

Code of Practice and levels of engagement

There are three levels of engagement with the Code of Practice – Supporter, Practitioner and Champion. As a Champion, we have been confirmed as endorsing, practising and meeting the five principles set out in the Code. For further information go to the Institute of Physics Diversity page.

Our support

At Royal Holloway, the physics department has mutual support groups:

• Student Physics Society.

• Postgraduate Forum.

• Research Staff Forum.

• Women In Physics Group for all female staff and students in the Department.

• Women In Physics Research and Academic Staff: who have monthly lunches.

We also host inclusive social events to further Project Juno including:

• Weekly Departmental Tea/Coffee and cakes.

• Annual Celebrate Success End of Year Event.

• Summer BBQ for all.

• Annual Staff vs Student Baseball Game.

We have been recognized by the Institute of Physics for our actions to address the under-representation of women in Physics. We are developing an equitable working culture in which all students and staff, men and women, can achieve their full potential by:

  • Monitoring progression of males and females in the Department
  • Support in Career progression
  • Improved communication via
    • Inclusive Departments Events
    • 11am Friday Tea/Coffee + Cakes
    • Annual Celebrate Success Event
    • Staff handbook
  • Transparent Workload allocation
  • Mutual Support Groups at all levels:
    • Research Staff Forum
    • Postgraduate Forum
    • Women in Physics
  • Consideration in Caring Responsibilities:
    • Flexible working
    • Core working hours: 10am - 4pm
    • Paternity leave promoted
    • Maternity leave supported

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