Project Juno launches new award as it marks a decade of rewarding gender equality, 10 November 2017

On the 20th October 2017, the Institute of Physics’ launched a new level of award of its Project Juno award scheme for gender equality in physics called Juno Excellence and introduced a new Juno principle on professional conduct. These two innovations were announced at a special event to celebrate a decade of Project Juno. 

Juno Excellence adds a new level beyond Juno Champion for those physics departments and organisations that develop a programme of activities in conjunction with the Institute to showcase and embed successful and innovative practice nationally.

The new sixth principle requires evidence that there should be “an environment where professional conduct is embedded into departmental culture and behaviour”. This includes addressing bullying, harassment and misconduct. Speaking about the move, the IOP’s head of diversity, Jenni Dyer, said: “The wording was chosen very carefully to make it all-encompassing. It’s inevitably broader than sexual harassment and bullying  and we think it’s really important that the Institute takes a strong, proactive stance on values for physics - this is about you developing your own set of values and having a policy that people can understand and practise.”

Replying to a question from the audience on how to deal with bullying within international collaborations, Professor Val Gibson, chair of the Juno Assessment Panel, said that people had to act on any conflict between their own department’s code of conduct and the behaviour of others in a collaboration. She said: “I do find that UK physics departments are very advanced in their thinking on this. It’s our responsibility to share the best practice that we have.”

Summing up the event, Val Gibson said that the presence of Dame Julia Higgins, the IOP President, and IOP chief executive Professor Paul Hardaker at the event showed the IOP’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Surveying the history of Project Juno, which in the last 10 years has considered almost 100 applications for awards, updates and renewals, provided feedback via the diversity team to more than 40 departments and benefited from thousands of hours of volunteer input, she said: “It’s an incredible journey that we have been on and that we are still going on.

Further information about Project Juno, good practice guides and documentation are available on the IOP website www.iop.org/juno

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