Working to create an open and inclusive environment for all

We all live with unconscious biases and constrictive societal norms.  The School’s Equality and Diversity Committee meet monthly to discuss these and other such issues regarding Equality and Diversity, and are actively fighting against such biases to create an open and inclusive environment for all of our staff and students.


Gloria Hamlyn and Ozioma Kamalu are the School’s undergraduate representatives on the Equality and Diversity Committee. “We both joined because we feel that there is a long way to go before physics sees true equality, and we want to further the progress in any way we can. Since its beginning, science has been a collaborative effort and we feel that without every voice represented, the whole scientific effort is weakened.”

The School’s Equality and Diversity Committee has a number of responsibilities, with some of its current activities including:

–          applying for renewal of the Institute of Physics Juno Champion and Athena SWAN Silver award. These awards recognise the efforts of educational departments to improve gender equality within the academic community. The School’s application outlines future plans for implementations such as awareness training, gender ratios on hiring panels, and initiatives for greater provisions for disabled students and staff.

–          working with EUSA to discuss plans for the introduction of gender-neutral toilets in JCMB. This has proven successful in other university buildings around the campus, such as Teviot and Murchison House.

–          looking at ways to highlight more effectively the services EUSA’s The Advice Place provide to students at the King’s Buildings campus. Currently, there is only one advisor available for three hours, four days a week in KB, as opposed to the extensive services available in the Central Campus. Hopefully, with increased demand at KB, improvements to The Advice Place branch will follow as a result.

–          helping with the upcoming poster campaign which has been organised by the Physics and Astronomy Society. This campaign aims to bring a greater awareness to women and underrepresented groups of the past and present in physics who have gone unrecognised for too long. Keep an eye out for them around the JCMB!

Interested in finding out more or getting involved?  Gloria (s1511801@sms.ed.ac.uk) and Ozioma (s1559201@sms.ed.ac.uk) would love to hear your thoughts on E&D matters and are both happy to receive emails with suggestions that we can bring forward to the committee for consideration.

“Our aim is to ensure that issues that matter to you are heard and given serious thought by people through all levels of the School.”

Check out the School of Physics and Astronomy Equality and Diversity wiki page for information on complaints procedures, current school goals, and relevant contacts within and outwith the School:

https://www.wiki.ed.ac.uk/display/SOPAEDI/Equality+and+Diversity

Together we can create positive change for everyone by encouraging more engagement with these issues throughout the School.

 

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