Quantum Leaps for Women in Physics and Engineering: Exclusive Recruitment Drive Unveiled

TMOS, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Transformative Meta-Optical Systems, is proud to announce the implementation of a groundbreaking initiative aimed at increasing the number of women researchers on its team. In an effort to establish gender equity within the organization, TMOS will be conducting a special measures recruitment round, opening research positions exclusively to women and gender diverse candidates. This is part of a new recruitment policy that all postdoctoral positions will be advertised as women and gender diverse-only in the first round.

Chief Investigator Madhu Bhaskaran, the Centre’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Director, says “The underrepresentation of women in STEM fields is a persistent issue, and from its inception, TMOS has been committed to addressing this disparity. The special measures recruitment round is a proactive step towards fostering a more diverse research environment.”

By providing an initial opportunity exclusively for women, TMOS seeks to increase the participation of women and gender-diverse researchers from 36% (which represents double the discipline average and is due in large part to a previous special measures round) towards its goal of 40% by 2026.

Bhaskaran says, “The decision to implement the special measures recruitment policy was based on extensive research and consultation with experts in the field. While acknowledging that affirmative action initiatives can be controversial, these strong steps will lead to reduced bias, more diverse perspectives and ultimately better outcomes.”

Centre Director Dragomir Neshev says, “I wholeheartedly support and believe in the significance of our women-only recruitment initiative. By implementing this program, we are taking a proactive stance to address the historical underrepresentation of women in physics and engineering and foster a more inclusive research environment. I firmly believe that gender equity is not only a matter of fairness but also a catalyst for innovation and progress in our field.”

Throughout the process, qualifications and skills remain the key criteria for a successful candidate. If a suitable women or gender diverse candidate is not found in the first recruitment round, the position will be re-advertised and opened up to all genders.

Neshev says, “The Centre is dedicated to selecting the most suitable candidates to contribute to the advancement of our research. We believe more women fit the criteria than the industry-wide 17% women participation rate suggests and that there are systemic issues with traditional selection process and work culture that have led to the current imbalance of gender in STEMM.”

This special measures recruitment round is part of a broader strategy to create a supportive and inclusive work environment that encourages women to pursue careers in STEM. The Centre’s diversity initiatives include financial support to engage in Centre activities, mentorship, and Centre-wide inclusion training.

TMOS invites all qualified female candidates with a passion for optics and a desire to make a difference to apply for the open positions during the special measures recruitment round. Together, we can shape a future where diversity and excellence go hand in hand.

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About the author/s

Samara Thorn

As the Engagement Manager at TMOS, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Transformative Meta-Optical Systems, my role is to help researchers communicate their science and help businesses understand how the new field of meta-optics will transform their industry and where future opportunities for growth li ... more