National Physical Laboratory

Jet engine © GanserDiversity, equality and inclusion

NPL flourishes on the diversity of its people, who we nurture and respect – this is a value which is at the core of our organisation

We are committed to developing an exemplar company, promoting excellence in science through a diverse staff and an inclusive environment and culture at all levels of the organisation; enabling every employee to feel valued and to excel in their chosen field.

We are committed to building a culture of inclusion within our very diverse organisation, enabling us to profit from the individual differences that people bring. This includes supporting individuals to grow, succeed and enjoy working at NPL, by ensuring our policies allow us to work in a positive and open environment.

In every working relationship, NPL will ensure equality of opportunity, honour the rights of the individual and foster partnership and trust. NPL will promote and reinforce its culture of fairness by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived race, sex, religion/belief, nationality, disability, marital or civil partnership status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, trade union activity, political belief, pregnancy or maternity, caring responsibilities or irrelevant medical or criminal records.

All NPL employees:

  • Understand and observe appropriate behaviour, recognising and respecting cultural differences and traditions
  • Reflect on the core value of nurturing and respecting individuals, treating everyone they interact with at work with courtesy, dignity and respect
  • Understand and comply with NPL policy, employment law and regulations
  • Report any concerns about discrimination or unfair treatment
  • Never tolerate, personally display or engage in prejudice or discrimination or of any kind
  • Work together to create a positive environment; to enable us to perform to the best of our ability

Information on groups at NPL which are involved in promoting employee diversity and inclusivity:

The Diversity Task Force

The Diversity Task Force, chaired by the Chief Financial Officer, focuses on diversity issues around NPL to provide a diverse view on key strategic business objectives, policies and procedures, and begin to think creatively about a long term diversity strategy for NPL.

  • Benchmark - externally benchmark our diversity performance; informing our actions, and achieving recognition
  • Implement & Maintain - improve against external benchmark; developing and maintaining best practice
  • Monitor & Evaluate - continuously monitor our performance; evaluating how to improve
  • Encourage Access - ensure that every employee can speak up about diversity issues in a way that works for them
  • Utilise & Benefit - build and strengthen our business performance through our Diversity USP

The NPL LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender) Network

The NPL LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Network, a group for all NPL staff and visitors to meet informally and discuss current issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The network has four main objectives:

  • Discuss current issues affecting LGBT+ people at NPL
  • Provide advice to NPL on issues affecting LGBT+ people
  • Raise awareness of diversity and sexual orientation inclusion at NPL
  • Promote NPL as an LGBT+ friendly organisation

The group meets every week, holds regular social meetings out of the office, and represents the organisation at Pride events.

Project JUNO

Project Juno supports women in science and engineering (WISE)

Aims to develop a culture of equality for opportunity and reward, enabling all individuals to optimise their contribution to their team and to NPL

Juno SupporterStonewall diversity champion


  • Pride 2016 - June 2016
    Only two months after starting the NPL LGBT+ Network, members of staff joined over 30 scientists from around the UK to carry the NPL flag in the 2016 London Pride Parade.
  • Stonewall Champion - October 2015
    NPL joined Stonewall as a Diversity Champion, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index. NPL is one of the first R&D organisations to join.
  • Project Juno - August 2015
    NPL signed up for the IOP's Project Juno initiative, which addresses gender equality in the workplace. NPL was the first body outside the university sector to sign up to Project Juno since the initiative began in 2007.
  • NPL recognised for disability commitment - July 2011
    Jobcentre Plus approved NPL to be a user of the Two Ticks Disability Symbol.
  • WISE Award - February 2009
    Susan Evans accepting awardNPL won the Women into Science, Engineering and Construction (WISE) 'Investor in WISE' award. This award gives public recognition to companies who have actively addressed the issue of encouraging girls and young women into science, engineering and construction. The two other finalists in 2008 were the Royal Navy and British Gas.
    Image: Susan Evans accepting the 'Investor in WISE' award 2008 on behalf of NPL from HRH The Princess Royal
  • Diversity Task Force setup - April 2008
    The Diversity Task Force, chaired by the Director for Infrastructure and Support Services, focuses on diversity issues around the laboratory to provide a diverse view on key strategic business objectives, policies and procedures, and begin to think creatively about a long term diversity strategy for NPL.


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