Barbara Gabrys, Oxford University, UK
Igle Gledhill, Chair IUPAP WG 5
Women in physics grow their knowledge and skills all the time, but also develop their understanding the physics community of practice throughout their careers. In the early career stage, young women encounter the structures and values of the organisations within which they work, and they need to develop confidence and professionalism. At the same time, they are usually building a publication profile and establishing their career. In the mid-career stage, they take more responsibility, and develop leadership ability – whether this is organisational leadership or thought leadership. In the leadership stage of their careers, they mentor others and develop an environment in which good physics can be done, which is welcoming and fair for all the people working in it. Throughout their career, they also find themselves in the context of the prevailing culture, and they may have family responsibilities as well.
Professional development can help an individual to face the challenges of her or his environment, and change the environment for the better. In this workshop the speakers will describe their experience and discuss best practice. What can formal policy contribute? What methods have been shown to be successful?
Our speakers have considerable experience in professional development and leadership, and have moved between institutions and countries.
The available data show us that the fraction of women in physics declines as a function of seniority in every country in which it has been measured. There are fewer women in leadership or high-profile positions. The first session will help us throw our minds forward to decreasing the gender gap in leadership.
The second session, by contrast, will deal with best practice for recognising and solving problems in the early career stage. The session will be addressed both to the young physicists present and to mentors and leaders.
The third session will seek out some similarities and contrasts among the cultures of the world, and contrasts in more developed and less developed countries. In this session, we will also discuss those recommendations that can be taken forward.