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SPIE Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Scientific Meeting Harassment Survey

SPIE and OSA joined forces to measure harassment at their events by distributing a professional conduct survey to their combined global membership in December 2018.

The joint report, now available, helps OSA and SPIE measure the scale of harassment at meetings and understand the experiences of people who are discouraged or harmed when it occurs. SPIE and OSA are working together to develop policies and practices that create a more inclusive and welcoming conference experience.

Read the joint press release about the effort. And download the report.


Our Mission

SPIE, its volunteers, and staff work to encourage and promote diversity at our events and within our profession. We believe that bringing together people from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives will support innovation through a diversity of ideas, and solve challenges faced by our world.

We also believe in the development of collaborative environments that value participation from individuals with different ideas and perspectives, that ultimately have a positive impact on the science of light. It is our aim that our programs reflect these core values.


Attending SPIE Optics + Photonics this August?

See our full list of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion events below.

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Upcoming diversity events at Optics + Photonics 2019

Upcoming diversity events at Optics + Photonics 2019

Round Table: The Role of Women Scientists in Renewable Energy

Date: Monday 12 August 2019
Time: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: TBA

ModeratorsMonica Lira-Cantu, Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2) (Spain);Zakya Kafafi, Lehigh Univ. (United States)

Panelists: Sarah Kurtz, Univ. of California, Merced (United States); Jenny Nelson, Imperial College London (United Kingdom); Debra Rolison, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States); Laura Miranda Perez, Oxford Photovoltaics Ltd. (United Kingdom); Pooi See Lee, Nanyang Technological Univ. (Singapore)

This round table will discuss the benefits of female leadership, women role models, balance between male and female responses to challenges and risks, making scientific research an inclusive world, male networking versus female solo-working, the role of education and importance of leaning, mentoring, and career development.

Part of SPIE Conference 11095: Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE)

Endorsed by SPIE Women in Optics


Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Presentation and Reception

Date: Monday 12 August 2019
Time: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Location: TBA
Hosted by SPIE Women in Optics and SPIE Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Join us for a thought-provoking presentation by Jess Wade and stay after to share your ideas with other community members during the reception.

Improving Research Culture: How Photonics Benefits with the Full Spectrum of Scientists

This presentation will explore evidence-based approaches that look to challenge stereotypes for the benefit of science. From whole-school equality programs to mentoring and sponsorship, there are many ways to improve gender and social equity across all disciplines and in all job sectors.

Jess Wade

Jess Wade is an excitable scientist at Imperial College London who studies chiral materials in photonic devices. Jess is also enthusiastic about equality and has been involved in several projects to improve diversity in science and encourage young people to study science and engineering.


Friends of Bill W.

Date: Tuesday 13 August 2019
Time: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: TBA

Join others for a self-organized Friends of Bill W. meeting at Optics + Photonics. Take a moment to create a safe and supportive environment during your week in San Diego.


LGBTQ Social

Date: Tuesday 13 August 2019
Time: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Location: TBA

Come socialize and network with other LGBTQ in the optics and photonics community.


Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Date: Wednesday 14 August 2019
Time: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: TBA
Open to the public. RSVP required.

Come join us in editing Wikipedia pages about inspiring women, ethnic, or racial minority scientists.

Wikipedia is the fifth most popular website in the world, with more than 32 million views a day. Unfortunately, fewer than 18 percent of the English-language biographies are about women. The stats for ethnic and racial minorities are no better.

During the event, dedicated diversity activist and optical scientist, Jess Wade, will teach you how to edit Wikipedia pages. She has created over 500 for others! You will then have an opportunity to work together to research and write the biographies of scientists from underrepresented groups who inspire you. No previous experience is needed!

If you are interested, please RSVP here by Tuesday 13 August.

Do you have suggestions for pages to create? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter @WomenInOptics

View all special events at Optics + Photonics.


SPIE believes that bringing together people from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives supports innovation through a variety of ideas, and solves challenges faced by our world.

We seek to support our diverse community attending SPIE events. Look for these onsite services:

Nursing Mother's Lounge
Convention Center, Hall A Lobby & Hall E Lobby (Ground Level)
The lounges are located inside the women's restroom. Each lounge is equipped with comfortable furniture and a separate private area for nursing mothers. Power outlets are available. There is no storage or refrigeration available in the Nursing Mother's Lounge.

Gender Inclusive Restroom
Convention Center, Hall A Lobby (Ground Level)

Quiet Room
Registration Area, Convention Center, Sails Pavilion (Upper Level)
Open during registration hours.
The Quiet Room is intended for silent meditation, reflection, or prayer. No mobile device or computer use, and no food or beverages allowed.

SPIE is committed to providing a harassment- and discrimination-free experience for everyone at Photonics West and all our events, an experience that embraces the richness of diversity where participants may exchange ideas, learn, network, and socialize in the company of colleagues in an environment of mutual respect. For more information please read our Safe Meeting Policy and Code of Conduct.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Ad Hoc Committee

Please send us your thoughts and suggestions in support of the SPIE diversity and inclusion goals via email.

Anita Mahadeven-Jansen (Chair)

Julia Craven

Simi George

Maryellen Giger

Evan Hale

Sara Madaan

Kristen Maitland

Nishant Mohan

Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop

Perla Marlene Viera-González

Michael Williams

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