Physicists from 50 countries last month called for physics leaders to take action against extreme gender inequality. They met online in July at the Seventh Conference on Women in Physics, organised by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physicists (IUPAP).
The AIP hosted the conference, which was originally scheduled to be held in Melbourne in 2020.
Delegates heard about the global state of play. For example:
· over 99 per cent of physics students at Burkina Faso’s largest university are male
· no women have graduated in physical sciences at The University of El Salvador between 2017 and 2020
· in Chile, the percentage of women working full time in universities and research centres has stayed around 14 per cent for years
· only four per cent of Irish girls study physics in their final years
· and, in Australia, it will take until 2060 for women to comprise just 33 per cent of the astronomy workforce.
The conference made 21 recommendations to IUPAP and the wider physics community. Highlights include:
· Improving IUPAP conferences through anonymised applications and other initiatives
· Mentoring and training opportunities for women physics entrepreneurs and leaders
· No IUPAP awards for researchers involved in harassment or misconduct
· Increased access and support for women and girls in developing countries.