The Physiological Society is committed to strengthening its practices in diversity, equality and inclusion; with the aim of supporting the physiology community and wider STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) workforce. It was one of the first member bodies to sign the Science Council Declaration on Diversity, which was launched in October 2014 to promote a more diverse science workforce.
The Society has appointed two Diversity Champions – Dr Rachel Tribe and Dr Sue Deuchars. As Trustees of The Society, they are well placed to ensure our commitment filters through all activities at The Society; indeed, since signing the Declaration, great strides have been made in this respect, informed both by staff and membership surveys, and benchmarking work. The activity is regularly reviewed by The Society’s Council of Trustees to monitor progress.
The Society believes that all members and non-members interacting with Society activities should be treated fairly and on merit; to this end, it has begun a process of training Society Staff, Council and Committee members in Unconscious Bias. We hope to announce an opportunity for members to benefit from such training in due course.
The Society believes it is important to provide a platform for physiologists of all backgrounds to share their research. From 2016, symposium and Departmental Seminar Series organisers will be asked to commit to an aspirational target of 33% female representation of speakers. Furthermore, we will continue to work towards fair geographical balance as well as fair representation of both junior and senior research scientists.
These are the first of many actions The Society is taking to increase equality for physiologists from all backgrounds to work, without discrimination . An action table will shortly be available to provide a transparent overview of the work in progress.
Beyond this, The Society is committed to developing an internal Diversity programme for staff, not only to ensure Diversity, Equality and Inclusion for employees but also to ensure good practice becomes central to all of our core activities. We are confident that staff, members and the wider physiology community will see the emergence of a stronger, more diverse workforce as a result of this project .
Staff and members are encouraged to follow and contribute to The Society’s Diversity ‘journey’ via this webpage. As we face new challenges and engage in new activities, we will post them here.