The Gender Equality Group, formed on International Women’s Day 2019, was launched by Penny Owen, Commercial Director and Executive Sponsor for the group. At the time Owen stated:
"What's important is that whatever career we choose, in STEM or otherwise, both men and women feel equally able to contribute, develop and progress. There’s good evidence that diverse teams and organisations perform better than more homogeneous groups, particularly in avoiding the pitfalls of ‘group-think'.
“Over the last year we have established the principles of the Gender Equality Group via a working group, we’ve welcomed external speakers with inspiring stories and we have reflected on our history at NPL and the work women and men have done over the last 120 years in ensuring our science is world leading".
One year on, and in celebration of the theme #EachforEqual, the group will be launching a new networking series to bring together women and men from across the organisation to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions and celebrate achievements by both women and men. It is important for us to recognise that, although today is International Women's Day, the success of the work we do at NPL is down to the collaboration between both men and women in striving to solve some of the hardest scientific problems posed today.
The network open to both men and women will ensure that the four founding principles of the Group, are upheld:
ATTRACT – to enhance equality measures in recruitment and internal role opportunities
ENABLE – to provide a more level field around promotions and career opportunities
DEVELOP – to create additional opportunities for networking
CULTURE & ENVIRONMENT – to create a working environment fit for gender balance
It will also build on the work that is being done by the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, which brings together people from across the organisation to promote employee diversity and inclusivity. There are several interest groups including: LGBT+; Mental Health; Faith & Religion; Dyslexia & Neurodiversity; Gender Equality; Ethnicity; and Disability.
As part of NPL's commitment to Diversity & Inclusion, we signed up to the Institute of Physics' Project Juno in 2015 as a Juno Supporter. NPL was proud to be awarded Juno Practitioner status in 2018. The data that we hold for 2019 indicates that 37% of our science and engineering are women, a 10% increase since last year.
NPL also joined Stonewall as a Diversity champion in 2015, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index for the equality of LGBT+ community at NPL, and have made considerable progress since taking part.
In 2018, NPL became a member of the Business Disability Forum and joined the disability confident scheme as a Level 1 committed employer.
08 Mar 2020