The International Conference on Women in Physics (ICWIP) is a unique triannual event that brings together women and men in physics from all over the world to discuss the latest research in physics as well as gender and diversity issues in the physics community.The proportion of women in physics remains low (typically 20%) all around the world. Recognizing this issue, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) has tasked its Working Group on Women in Physics to organize the ICWIP conferences in order to build a more inclusive physics community. The 6th ICWIP conference was hosted by IUPAP and IOP at the University of Birmingham, UK.
Dr. Igle Gledhill, Chair of the International Organizing Committee, welcomed delegates to the conference, reminding the participants that women’s voices are critically important now more than ever, and urging everyone to ‘keep thinking while it is still legal’.Representatives from each country presented a brief summary and a poster on the current status of women in physics in their country. Delegates also attended interactive workshops on education, gender studies, professional development, cultural bias and workplace improvement.One of the highlights of the conference was an inspiring and informative lecture by Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who was awarded the President’s Medal of the Institute of Physics. She spoke of her painstaking analysis of more than 5km of pages of telescope observations that led her to discover the first pulsars.