Opening Up Photonics (OUP)

October 2018 marked the first Opening Up Photonics (OUP) gathering, and welcomed photonics professionals from industry and academia to come together to discuss the future of photonics in the UK. The event provided a forum for discussion and best practice suggestions regarding diversity and inclusivity in photonics, with a particular focus on celebrating female successes, and understanding gender equity issues in the community.

The event featured a key note speech from Dr Suzanne Doyle-Morris, founder of InclusIQ Ltd followed by focussed talks and breakout sessions aimed at tackling emergent challenges such as career progression, conscious and unconscious bias, and barriers to entrepreneurship and engagement.

OUP was led by Dr Kirsty Annand, Semiconductor KE Associate at the University of Glasgow, and was supported by Technology Scotland, the KTN and IOP Scotland. Kirsty said:

“It is no secret that the photonics industry is unequivocally of substantial importance to the current, and in an ever increasing capacity, future UK economy. As a woman in science I am however, acutely aware of the lack of diversity, not only in the photonics community, but across STEM more widely. I feel strongly about ensuring that everyone feels like there is a future for them in photonics, and hope that OUP can be one small step in allowing for rich and substantial relationships to flourish, ensuring that the future of photonics is bright.”

If you would like to find out more about photonics research at the University of Glasgow, please see here, or for more information, or to get involved in this initiative in the future, contact kirsty.annand@glasgow.ac.uk.