Celebrating Gender Diversity in the World of Physics


Project aims:

This project focused on the lives of young trans people with regards to the field of physics and cascade these findings across the LGBT community more broadly through a panel discussion event and an online media campaign.

The aims were engage young trans people (age 13-25) with physics where they may not feel particularly included or enthused or regard the field of physics as a viable career option.

Summary of activity:

We carried out:
− A workshop with a group of young trans people to gather experiences of physics in education with regards to gender identity, consider successful trans people working in the industries of physics as well as sharing ideas of gender equality and diversity in the world of physics.

− A panel discussion as part of the LGBT History Month celebrations in February 2013 at Central School of Speech & Drama, University of London to an invited audience. Speakers were trans youth studying or working in the industries of physics, engineering and science, trans professionals who work in the industry of physics as well as physicists with an interest in gender equality and diversity.

− An online media campaign to cascade knowledge produced in the trans youth workshop and the panel discussion to a wider LGBT audience and continue to generate debate and raise awareness of how gender identity features in the settings of physics, engineering and science.

Evaluation approach:

We evaluated the project through questionnaires for our participants and attendees to the live events, as well as drew on analysis from access to the blog site. This established quantitative and qualitative data.

What went well:

1.One of the successes for Gendered Intelligence (GI) was engaging with transgender people who we hadn’t so far engaged with. This was due to the subject matter that interested them and the fact that this was the first time GI had encouraged this debate

2.much of the discussion was around engaging with themes and politics around sexism and the work that is being done by trans and non-trans people around opening up more opportunities for women and for other diverse identities.

3.The trans youth workshop allowed the young people to ask older people how they have got on in this field and what their experiences as a trans person has been like.

What was learned:

1.that the world of physics, science and engineering is substantially populated by trans people

2. it's a difficult to raise the interests of the topics with the wider community

3. more joined up work could be done across various organisations that are tackling equality and diversity issues in this sector

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About the contributor

Jay Stewart
Gendered Intelligence

Our mission is to make the world more intelligent about gender. We do this in several ways including engaging with debates around sex in the world of science.…

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