The University of Southampton

Celebrating the First Six Months of the Women in Optics Group

Published: 12 February 2024

In the summer of 2023, the Women in Optics group was founded by Professor Anna Peacock, Dr. Natalie Wheeler, Dr. Natasha Vukovic, Dr. Angeles Camacho Rosales and Dr. Thalia Dominguez, with support from the senior management at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC).

Anna Peacock, co-founder of the Women in Optics group, said: “Our aim is to better understand the challenges faced by women staff in the ORC, as well as to promote community building and networking opportunities. Through this initiative, we hope not only to provide targeted support for women within our institute but also to develop strategies that will help to improve the working environment for all our staff members.”

Natalie Wheeler, another co-founder, added: “We are keen to use this forum to facilitate women’s career development. The Women in Optics group serves as an inclusive and relaxed forum where we meet regularly to offer support and share relevant experiences.”

Since its inception, the group has held four meetings, addressing topics such as the university promotion process for academic staff. Another noteworthy event was a breakfast session featuring Dr. Margaret Dominguez from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre, who provided insights into her career journey, challenges overcome and future goals. This session offered a unique opportunity for learning, exchanging experiences, and building connections within the Women in Optics community.

Looking ahead, the group plans to continue its regular catch-ups while exploring opportunities to expand into training events.

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