Opening up Photonics: Unconscious Bias and Embedding Culture Change

The Opening Up Photonics Initiative – a collaboration between Photonics Scotland, University of Glasgow, Institute of Physics and the Knowledge Transfer Network – has partnered with Equate Scotland to deliver a series of training workshops exploring practical suggestions for improving gender diversity within your organisation.


The Photonics industry has long struggled to increase the participation and engagement of women. A recent SPIE study indicated that, across Europe, female representation in the sector is as low as 20%.

It is clear, therefore, that Scottish Photonics will need to target greater engagement from this underrepresented group to ensure the future success of the sector. As well as unlocking the well documented commercial and cultural benefits of a more gender diverse workforce, this approach will be vital in securing the necessary number of skilled workers to support future growth.

Earlier this year, Photonics Scotland published a vision paper for the Photonics Sector in Scotland, setting out a series of recommendations that will support the goal to triple the size of the sector by 2030. Included within these recommendations was the creation of a Women In Photonics Initiative that would seek to identify barriers to female engagement in the sector. Working with both industry and academia, the initiative will look to provide employers and educators with the necessary tools to encourage more women into photonics careers.

Workshop – 29th January 2020

This session starts by developing capacity in understanding prejudice and bias, the consequences it can have on decision making, and crucially, develops strategic steps which can be taken to mitigate bias within processes, systems and workplace culture.

The session then focuses on how whole organisation culture change can be achieved. We consider how equality and inclusion can be sustained at all levels of an organisation, how it can become part of the everyday fabric and create an action plan to take forward.

This is the second in a series of workshops exploring gender diversity in Photonics. However, previous attendance at the first workshop is not required for participation in this event.

Registration is free and spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis. This course is expected to be extremely popular and attendees will be limited to one per organisation. Please register quickly to avoid disappointment.


09.30 Arrival – tea and coffee

10.00 Welcomes and introduction

10.15 Workshop Part 1

11.45 Coffee

12.00 Workshop Part 2

13.00 Lunch



Jan 29 2020


9:30 am - 1:00 pm



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Leonardo, Quartermile, 2 Lister Square, Edinburgh
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