School of Physics Awarded Juno Practitioner Status

23 January 2014

Trinity College Dublin’s Physics Department has been awarded Juno Practitioner status by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for taking action to address gender inequities across its student and staff body.

Juno

Seeking to redress the long-standing issue of there being too few women at the highest levels of physics academia in Ireland and the UK, Trinity’s physics department joined Project Juno to demonstrate its commitment and has now been recognised for its best practice.  

Professor in Physics at Trinity, Eithne McCabe, said: "Trinity College Dublin School of Physics has made the increased participation of women in physics a key priority and is delighted to be awarded Juno Practitioner status. We recognise how improving the numbers, retention rate, profile and culture for female physicists will impact positively on the Irish economy as a whole and we feel we have an important role to play in this.”

To achieve the new status, Trinity’s School of Physics has demonstrated progression against a range of Juno principles set up to improve the working culture by, for example, introducing more flexible working arrangements, offering provision for childcare, or allowing for a more transparent organisational structure.

Trinity joins a growing list of 44 other university physics departments in the UK and Ireland that have expressed commitment to Project Juno. As Juno Practitioners, the department is now able to work towards Champion status and aspire to become one of the first in the country to hold this title.

While women make up around 20% of physics undergraduates, this number drops to a tiny 7% further along academia at the level of University Professor, suggesting female physicists are less likely than their male counterparts to progress into the most senior positions in physics.  

Professor Peter Main, Director of Education and Science at the IOP, said, “The Institute is here to support all physics departments to achieve Juno awards by providing positive and constructive feedback on their progress against the Juno principles.

“Of course, the real, tangible benefit of Juno is creating an inclusive working environment that supports the development and progression of all staff, regardless of gender.”