Equity and Diversity
In a bid to turn the tide on the historical dominance of men in our disciplines, the newly formed School of Physics and Astronomy in 2015 decided to focus on and promote equity and diversity, establishing an Equity and Diversity Committee.
Using their passion for asking tough questions and solving hard problems, committee members are working together towards understanding the needs and concerns of all genders, with the aim of making the new School a place in which every student and staff member can thrive.
A recent achievement of the committee was the creation of a dedicated parenting room, making it easier now for parents in the School to have their child with them at work. Not only is this a welcome practical measure, but it serves to remind everyone that children are a normal part of the life of School members. Another important contribution was to introduce scholarships for all women studying at Honours level, as a sign of encouragement and support for their interest in science.
Over the past 12 months the Committee has been working with the University towards an Athena Swan Institutional Bronze Award for 2018. By putting the spotlight on issues which hinder women’s progress as students and academics in the STEMM disciplines, we are identifying and implementing practical strategies which put us on the path to true gender equity.
In recognition of our ongoing commitment to improving the School’s work culture and environment for women, in 2015 we were awarded the Pleiades Bronze Award by the Women in Astronomy Chapter of the Astronomical Society of Australia.