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Cardiff achieves ‘Champion’ status for gender equality in physics

27 May 2020

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Cardiff University’s School of Physics & Astronomy has been awarded the status of Juno Champion by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for its work and dedication in addressing gender equality in physics.

Project Juno is the IOP’s award scheme that encourages, supports, recognises and rewards the actions of physics departments, schools, institutes and groups to address gender equality in physics, by embracing better practice and fostering a more inclusive working environment.

It aims to help institutions create and establish an equitable culture for both staff and students, with principles that encompass and include appointment and selection, career promotion and progression, departmental culture, work allocation and flexible working practices.

The School of Physics and Astronomy joins 21 other physics departments, institutes and organisations that have attained Juno Champion status, and becomes the first to achieve Champion status in Wales.

Each has had to fully embed the principles of Project Juno and illustrate how they will continue to implement good practice.

There are three levels of Juno awards, with participants progressing from being a Juno Supporter, onto Juno Practitioner and then to Juno Champion.

Those participating in the project are supported throughout their Juno journey by the IOP, with free workshops and best practice resources, site visits, and regular Juno updates.

IOP Diversity coordinator, Angela Townsend, said: “I am always delighted to see a new Champion joining the growing list of Juno Champions. We fully appreciate how much commitment is required to make and maintain change and celebrate that Project Juno continues to go from strength to strength, supporting physics departments in establishing and embedding equality into their practices.

“This award is particularly poignant though, as Cardiff is the first department to be awarded Juno Champion status in Wales. I would like to commend the team at Cardiff, particularly Head of School, Professor Peter Smowton, Professor Emyr Macdonald and Wendy Sadler MBE for their dedication and achievement. They have established the department at Cardiff as a beacon, which other regional physics departments will hopefully follow.”

Professor Peter Smowton, Head of  the School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “I am of course delighted that we have been awarded Juno Champion status. It is a great achievement that involved the dedicated team here at Cardiff with support from the Institute of Physics, who worked with us to achieve the targets we set ourselves in the department. Being the first to be awarded Juno Champion status in Wales makes this all the more special.”

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