The lab shutdown due to COVID-19 has allowed a period of introspection for the Reisner Lab. We took a step back and with dedicated group meetings considered our role in perpetuating inequality in science, including racism, sexism, religious or cultural discrimination, classism, ableism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination. We concluded that to address inequalities, promote equality and improve diversity in our group, and in physical sciences more generally, we must establish our intentions and take action.
The Reisner Lab wishes to create a culture of equal opportunity and diversity not just to promote equality, but also because evidence has linked a diverse culture to improved performance on both individual and organisation levels. We strive to support our current group members from diverse backgrounds and especially welcome applications from under-represented groups in science, in particular women and people of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background. We aim to create a culture of equality by establishing behaviours that support and create an environment where every team member feels they belong, and where unequal systems and behaviours are challenged and reported. Beyond our lab we will use our influence to further promote and enhance the visibility of researchers from underrepresented groups.
In order to uphold the intentions of this Equality Statement we have created a Plan of Action to outline the direct steps we will be taking to address inequalities and improve diversity in our group, and to further promote equality in science. The Reisner Lab is dedicated to the constant self-awareness and self-criticism required to counteract institutional inequality. We will regularly review this statement and plan of action to continue to improve our commitment to achieving equality and creating a culture in which all are supported and valued.
Through this statement and plan of action we hope to reflect the University of Cambridge’s core values of freedom from discrimination, in addition to the University of Cambridge commitment to Equality and Diversity (www.equality.admin.cam.ac.uk, www.race-equality.ad- min.cam.ac.uk).