Physics Department Colloquium
Rowan Thomson
Carleton University
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
HP 4351

Women in physics: Untold stories, the elephant in the room, and challenging the status quo

Across science, women continue to be underrepresented.  The gender gap is considerable in physics and persists at all levels, from students through to senior physicists.  Recent research analyzed physics publications from around the world, reporting that 13% of authors in the senior author position are women, and this is changing by only 0.1% per year.  Despite the glaring lack of gender diversity, this issue is often not openly discussed in the day-to-day life of a physics department. 

This presentation will focus on ideas to change the status quo – collective and sustained actions to advance equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).  Recent published research will be described to raise awareness of EDI challenges in the physics context.  I will discuss how physicists may collaborate to advance EDI, focusing on practical and realistic actions. Finally, I will talk about the need for physicists to engage with our broader communities to challenge societal stereotypes that limit future generations’ perceptions of career and life options.