Besides strictly scientific activities, our team is actively involved in public engagement and outreach which guarantee the promotion of science and our work to the general public. Several workshops and demonstrations were delivered over last few years, including stands on big events like festivals or school visits.
We are applying the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) values into our everyday routine and building an inclusive and supportive workspace. This is especially important to improve the prospects of our group as an inclusive body and to help with promoting scientific careers within the wide and diverse public.
These actions are also supported by grants obtained by members of our group; Katarzyna Grabska was involved in numerous activities as a postgraduate researcher and received some external funding to promote values within equality, diversity and inclusion.
- 2019 OSA Foundation Diversity and Inclusion Grant
Funding was used for celebration of the LGBT STEM Day (5 July) with a special focus on engaging multiple groups of students and general public keen on celebration of the inclusion of LGBT individuals involved in STEM subjects.
- 2018 and 2019 Women in Optics Activity Grant received from SPIE
Women are still a minority in the STEM field. Equality and inclusion within STEM is yet to happen and actions are needed at every stage of education and as a part of public engagement or outreach activities.
- 2018 and 2019 Doctoral College Festival Mini Grant
These grants were used to organise outreach events for PhD students from fields not related to our main interest or even optics. The aim of activities like these is to promote the idea of inclusion within people interested to know more about our projects and science in general.
- 2018 IEEE Woman in Engineering (WIE) International Leadership Summit at Southampton
Women in STEM should be encouraged to be an active part of a group and to take action in leadership activities. More details can be found on the website: http://sites.ieee.org/wieils-soton-2018/
Our team was actively supporting the University of Southampton’s Science and Engineering Festival in 2019. With the collaboration offered by the SPIE Woman in Optics Activity Grant, Lightwave team and the Royal Academy of Engineering, SPIE Student Chapter and members of the team prepared a stand to inform the general public, parents and school pupils about career opportunities within research and engineering. The stand was supported by the Photonics Music Workshop’s demonstrations and was visited by over 1000 people. Special emphasis was put on inclusion and equality in STEM careers.