International Women's Day at the School of Physics

20 April 2016

Members of the School of Physics speaking with MC Julie McCrossin at the Accelerating Gender Parity Event in Maclaurin Hall
Members of the School of Physics speaking with MC Julie McCrossin at the Accelerating Gender Parity Event in Maclaurin Hall

The School of Physics joined in the global celebrations of International Women's Day and its theme of 'Pledge For Parity' on 8 March 2016 by taking part in two events to highlight our efforts for diversity and to affirm our commitment to creating a more diverse and equitable workplace.

The International Women's Day Breakfast, hosted by the Physics Equity and Access Committee (PEAC), was held in the foyer of the Sydney Nanoscience Hub, celebrating the important contributions women have made to the School of Physics since its inception.

This breakfast built upon the Early Career Women in Physics afternoon tea in October 2015 to support and encourage women honours students, postgraduates and postdocs in Physics.

The Head of School, Professor Tim Bedding, welcomed the staff and students to the breakfast by speaking on the challenges that the global physics community has faced in the previous 12 months on gender issues, and highlighting how the School has taken the lead at the University by implementing equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives.

These initiatives include adopting the University-wide gender targets of 40% women at Professorial level and 45% at Associate Professor level, but with a 10 year timeline that will be an enormous challenge to achieve.

The School of Physics has introduced other equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives such as appointing three Equity Officers; family-friendly meeting times; a soon-to-be-opened Parents' Room; and the promise of continuing positions for women in each of the current Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence bids.

The School of Physics continued its contribution to the International Women's Day celebrations at the Accelerating Gender Parity event in MacLaurin Hall. The School was represented by Maryanne Large, John O'Byrne, Shaghik Atakaramians and Emma Lindley who joined Tim Bedding in sharing the achievements of PEAC, as well as the future plans of the School of Physics.

These future plans will include being part of the University's commitment to Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE), an Australia-wide initiative that seeks to improve gender equality and diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) disciplines. The key SAGE activity is the Australian pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter that provides an evaluation and accreditation framework for gender equity issues in STEMM.

More information about the measures the School of Physics has undertaken to promote equality, diversity and inclusion are available on the PEAC website.

Contact: Gabriel Nguyen

Phone: +61 2 9351 3201

Email: 080837213b015d45080a0f1f1023141a091e0a0115595556006c5447