The University of Southampton

Physics and Astronomy awarded Juno Champion status for advancing gender equality

Published: 11 February 2019
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University of Southampton’s School of Physics and Astronomy has been awarded Juno Champion Status

The Institute of Physics has awarded Juno Champion status to the University of Southampton’s School of Physics and Astronomy. The accolade recognises the School’s actions to develop a working culture in which students and staff can achieve their full potential, and follows the Athena SWAN Silver award that the School received in 2018.

Physics and Astronomy is committed to addressing the under-representation of women in its subject and has been embedding Project Juno’s six principles into its environment since being recognised with Practitioner status in 2017. The School has demonstrated open and supportive departmental systems and structures, improved appointment and selection processes and is home to a highly active Women’s Physics Network.

There are four levels of Juno awards, with Champion status representing a third tier that is fulfilling a detailed action plan.

Professor Mark Sullivan, Head of Physics and Astronomy, says: “A positive environment for working and learning is key to the success of our School and I am delighted that everyone’s dedicated work embedding the Project Juno principles has been rewarded with Champion status. I look forward to working with our team in the coming months to advance more successful and innovative practice as we work towards Juno Excellence.”

Physics and Astronomy has improved recruitment processes and led positive public engagement and outreach since the awarding of an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in 2014. It has also introduced a number of local schemes, such as a core hours policy, that seek to enhance the University provision.

The Women’s Physics Network was set up in 2014 by PhD students, undergraduate students and academic staff. The Network has organised lectures by leading female researchers, educational workshops for both students and staff, and raised awareness of the importance of equality through a variety of social events. The Network was recognised for its ‘exceptional contribution’ with a Vice-Chancellor’s Award in 2017.

Professor Paul Hardaker, Institute of Physics Chief Executive Officer, says: “The IOP is delighted that the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southampton has become a Project Juno Champion. The School demonstrated clear leadership and a genuine commitment to addressing gender inequality and our Juno Assessment Panel commended them for their sustained efforts to effect change across the whole School. We look forward to publicly recognising their achievement at our Awards Ceremony later this year.”

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