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School of Physics and Astronomy commended for commitment to gender equality

QMUL’s School of Physics and Astronomy has been awarded Juno Champion Status by the Institute of Physics (IOP) in recognition of action they have taken to address the under-representation of women in university physics.

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The school becomes only the 13th in the country to be awarded Champion Status, the highest of three levels awarded to those taking part in the IOP’s Project Juno. Explaining why the school is supporting the programme, Professor Steve Lloyd, Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy, said, “Women such as Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Athene Donald have made huge contributions to the fields of Astronomy and Physics in the UK.  Unfortunately women scientists and engineers are still under-represented throughout universities and we need to work harder across academia to change that."

The award recognises that the school has embedded Project Juno’s principles in all five areas: equality of opportunity and reward; appointment and selection processes; career progression; departmental organisation; and flexible approaches that allow individuals to optimise their contribution.

Jennifer Dyer, our Head of Diversity at IOP, said, “The Institute strongly encourages all physics departments to embed gender equality in all that they do and to work towards achieving Juno awards by providing positive and constructive feedback on their progress against the Juno principles. Juno creates an inclusive working environment that supports the development and progression of all staff, regardless of gender.”

The panel particularly commended the school for establishing a fund specifically to take action on Juno issues and for its transparency efforts with a ‘You said, We did’ section on the Project Juno pages of their website. The promotions process was also singled out as ‘particularly excellent’ and gender monitoring of attendance and coursework submission was called ‘excellent practice’.

Professor Lloyd, said, “I’m a fantastically proud that our school is a Juno Champion and look forward to continuing the work to increase the number of women studying and working in the school. We hope that this award will help us to recruit more women and ensure that everyone in the school is able to contribute fully to the cutting edge research taking place here.”

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Mark Fuller
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