Diversity and Inclusion Programme Strategy 2011-2015

Diversity and Inclusion Programme Strategy 2011-2015
The Institute’s vision for diversity and inclusion is to work towards an inclusive,
sustainable, diverse and vibrant physics community, which is reflected in the
Institute’s membership and governance.
Our mission is for the Institute to be fully inclusive and enable all of our members
– male and female, young and old, of all ethnic backgrounds and religious
beliefs, regardless of disability, geographic location, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or level of achievement in physics - to participate fully in our
Aims Strategy
 To champion diversity and inclusion issues internally and externally.
 To encourage wider participation in physics from under-represented groups
by promoting equality of opportunity for all, at all stages of the physics
 To mainstream and embed diversity and inclusion within the Institute’s
membership and across all of the Institute’s activities and in all operations to
seek to promote diversity and inclusion and advance equality of opportunity
 To create a working environment within the Institute where everyone can
contribute and feel valued, and to promote this ethos to all people interested
in working with us.
 To promote diversity and inclusion within the physics community.
 To promote diversity and inclusion within and amongst the Institute’s
 To disseminate good practice on managing diversity and inclusion across the
physics community.
 To monitor annually the participation of under-represented groups in the
Institute’s activities, including membership, governance, groups, committees,
speakers, etc.
 To identify trends and gaps in participation in physics from under-represented
groups and to identify any under-representation within the Institute’s
 To implement good practice and embed diversity and inclusion internally
through the Diversity Forum and to work with HR to ensure the IOP’s
workforce is fully representative.
 To develop the Institute’s policy work on key aspects of diversity and
Responsibility for diversity and inclusion
Responsibility for the implementation of this Diversity and Inclusion strategy rests
with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, who will report on its progress
annually to Council. Because of the importance attached to this aspect of IOP
work, the Chief Executive chairs the Diversity Forum, which will progress internal
and operational diversity issues.
The challenges for diversity in physics
The Institute recognises that the case for diversity is more than just legislative;
there is a clear business and moral case. We live and work in an increasingly
diverse society, and identifying the talent from the widest possible pool, for both
our staff and for the physics community, is key to ensuring the future health of the
subject and of the Institute. Successful implementation of equality and diversity in
all aspects of the Institute’s work will ensure that colleagues, staff, members of
the Institute and the physics community at large are valued, motivated and
treated equitably. There are a number of challenges for the Institute as it works
towards an inclusive physics community:
Women compromise 50% of the population but only around 22% of those
taking A-Level Physics or studying undergraduate physics courses is female.
This figure declines at each stage of the educational pipeline and into
employment: 19.8% of lecturers, 11.2% of senior lecturers and 5.4% of
professors are female1.
Women are concentrated in the Student and Associate grade (75% of women
members) and only 2.4% of them are Fellows at the Institute.
BME students who achieve high standards at undergraduate level in physics
and chemistry are significantly more likely than average to go on to further
study but are less likely to study chemistry and physics at PhD level. 2
There is a very small proportion of academic staff in physics cost centres from
BME groups, with 88.2% of staff declaring their ethnic origin as white.
From 2003 to 2009, only 6% of accepted applicants to physics and astronomy
came from the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods. This is lower than the
figures for other science and maths subjects (10.6%) and all HE subjects
Whilst the numbers of disabled students studying physics compares equally
to the numbers of disabled students in HE as a whole (at around 7%), there is
a general under-representation of disabled people in HE: approximately 1 in
HESA data 2007/08
The Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics (2006) Representation of Ethnic Groups in
Chemistry and Physics
14 of the general population attends HE, but only 1 in 20 of disabled people
do so1.
A little over 5% of the working population is considered disabled under the
Disability Discrimination Act3. However only 2.3% of academic staff across all
subjects declared a disability and this is even lower for SET departments, at
Achievements to date
The Institute has made major progress towards its diversity goals since the
Diversity Programme was established in 2004. Previous work around equality
and diversity have left an invaluable legacy. This includes:
Women in University Physics Departments: A Site Visit Scheme (2003-2005)
Best Practice in Career-break Management (2006)
Girls in Physics Project (2006-present)
Project Juno: Advancing women’s careers in physics (2007 – present)
o There are three Champions, seven Practitioners and 21 Supporters in
the UK and Ireland
The representation of ethnic groups in chemistry and physics (2006)
Why choose physics and chemistry? The influences on physics and
chemistry: subject choices of BME students (2008)
Access for All: A Guide to Disability good practice (2008)
Ethnic Diversity pilot project (2009 – present)
Diversity Forum established (2010)
Survey on Childcare (2010)
Carers’ Fund established (2010)
Diversity in University Physics: A Statistical Digest (2010)
Barriers to Disabled Students in Sciences Conference (2010)
STEM Disability Committee established (2011)
Raising Aspirations in Physics (RAP) pilot project (2011 – present)
Mapping the Future: Physics and Chemistry Postdoctoral Researchers’
Experiences (2011)
Membership Diversity Survey (2011)
Labour Force Survey, Quarter 1, 2007
Equality Challenge Unit (2009) Equality in Higher Education: Statistical Report
Future Priorities
The Diversity & Inclusion Programme needs to evolve and to ensure that good
practice becomes embedded across the Institute and its activities. The priorities
for the Diversity Programme have been aligned with the Institute’s strategic
Research: To ensure the strongest research base in physics so as to
advance science and develop skills
 Promoting Project Juno in the UK and Ireland to encourage more
departments to become Supporters and Practitioners and to work actively
with those departments wishing to attain Practitioner and Champion status.
 Evaluating Project Juno to ensure that it remains an important and
appropriate tool for raising awareness of diversity issues with in university
physics departments.
 To monitor any issues concerning the REF that impact on diversity and
Education: To enable access for all to physics education so as to develop
skills, expand opportunities and create an informed population
 Continuing to collect and produce up-to-date statistics on diversity at all
stages of the physics pipeline from GCSE to employment, to ensure that our
evidence base remains current and relevant.
 Evaluating current work on ethnicity and developing a new programme of
work to build on the ethnic diversity pilot project.
 Identifying and implementing new projects, in conjunction with the STEM
Disability Committee, and the wider community, to improve provision for
disabled students in the sciences.
 Implementing and evaluating Raising Aspirations in Physics project to
promote physics to students from lower socio-economic backgrounds
 Analysing and disseminating findings from the 2006-10 Longitudinal study of
final year physics graduates and from the RSC/IOP survey of postdoctoral
 Identifying the potential and actual impact on under-represented groups of the
changing landscape of higher education.
 Progressing the Girls in Physics programme and building on our experiences
to develop further approaches to work to schools to improve the engagement
of girls with physics.
Membership: To engage with physicists from all sectors and all those
interested in physics, attracting new members and developing the
 Working with the Membership Directorate to build a profile of member
diversity over time.
 Engaging with Branches, Groups and members to raise awareness of
diversity issues.
Advocacy and Awareness: To engage with all policy makers and the public,
developing awareness and understanding of the central importance of
 Ensuring that the Diversity pages on the website remain an important tool for
internal and external stakeholders to find out about diversity in the Institute.
 Interacting with other learned societies, professional bodies and organisations
associated with diversity.
 Continuing to promote best practice externally in diversity and inclusion
including participation in external networks and meetings.
Scientific Communications: To enable access for all involved in the physics
community to professional scientific communications so as to support the
enhancement of knowledge
 Continuing to liaise with IOPP through the Diversity and Inclusion Committee
and Diversity Forum to raise awareness of diversity issues in all areas of
scientific communication.
Capability: To provide the strongest capability required for the Institute to
achieve its strategic goals - including, a skilled and motivated workforce,
effective systems and sound governance
 Ensuring the Institute’s Diversity Forum continues to promote internal
discussion around diversity issues, shares good practice and works towards
embedding diversity across all Directorates and all activities.
 Working with HR to implement the recommendations from the diversity audit
and creating a working environment where all staff can contribute and feel
 Monitoring representation on Council and boards and committees.
 Work with the Head of Governance to ensure training in equality and diversity
for people within the governing structure.