Durham Loves Women Physicists (But Not Enough Yet)
Durham University’s Department of Physics has won a national award for improving gender equality among its staff and students.
The department has been awarded Juno Practitioner status by the Institute of Physics.
Established in 2007, Juno aims to reward departments that address the under-representation of women in university physics. There are three levels: Supporter, Practitioner and Champion.
One way the Durham department achieved Practitioner status was to introduce more flexible working arrangements by offering provision for childcare (nothing to do with the film).
Dr Elizabeth Bridge, a postdoctoral researcher in the Atomic and Molecular Research Group, said: “I am looking forward to helping identify and address problems that may be contributing to the gender imbalance within academia and the physical sciences.”
Over the last five years Durham’s physics department has appointed five women lecturers and promoted two to professorships.
Including Durham, 45 universities across the UK and Ireland have now joined Project Juno. The university now aims to work towards Champion status and become one of just nine departments in the country with this title.
In order to do this the department must embed the five basic principles of Juno within two years.
Women may make up around 20 per cent of physics undergraduates but at professor level this drops to just 7 per cent. Project Juno hopes to reduce this drastic difference.