Opening Up Photonics Workshop

in collaboration with Photonics Scotland, Institute of Physics, the Knowledge Transfer Network and Equate Scotland

Women are greatly under-represented in photonics, with a recent study by SPIE indicating that as little as 20% of the sector is comprised of women across Europe.

Photonics Scotland’s Vision Paper set out nine key recommendations to successfully lead the photonics sector towards 2030. One of these key points is the creation of a Women in Photonics initiative to identify barriers to female engagement in photonics and to provide recommendations to employers and educators in order to increase participation and engagement of women within the sector.

Opening Up Photonics works with both industry and academia to create recommendations and processes that will provide the necessary tools to encourage women to work in photonics. One of the main focusses is the removal of unconscious bias during the recruitment process.

As well as providing the workforce for the aimed 40% growth of photonics by 2030, it will provide important commercial and cultural benefits that are created by a more gender diverse workforce. Indeed, other organisations are working to develop solutions to this problem including SPIE, Scotland Women in Technology, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Skills Development Scotland, and the Scottish Government itself with the 2017 STEM Strategy.


Opening Up Photonics Workshop – 29 January 2020

The second workshop in the series started by understanding prejudice and bias, and the consequences they have on decision making. It worked at developing strategic steps towards removing unconscious bias within processes, systems and workplace culture.

The session then focused on achieving culture change across whole organisations through sustaining equality and inclusion at all levels and the integration of these values into everyday operations.