Jessica Wade: The 2020 SPIE Diversity Outreach Award

The SPIE Diversity Outreach Award recognizes outstanding contributions to promoting diversity in the education, training, and participation of women and minorities in optics, photonics, electro-optics, and imaging technologies and applications
13 November 2019
Jessica Wade wins 2020 SPIE Diversity Outreach Award

The inaugural winner of the SPIE Diversity Outreach Award, physicist Jess Wade is an eloquent, engaged activist for gender equity across the sciences. Her editing work adding hundreds of female scientists to the pages of Wikipedia has garnered Wade multiple accolades including the 2018 Daphne Jackson Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics, and a British Empire Medal in 2019. Even better, it has raised the profile of those scientists and drawn critical attention for the need to address the persistent gender imbalance in STEM.

In 2017, Wade represented the UK on the US Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program #HiddenNoMore: Empowering Women Leaders in STEM project. She served on the WISE (Women into Science and Engineering) Campaign Young Professionals' Board from 2015-18, and currently serves on the IOP London and South East and Women in Physics Group Committees.

An SPIE Early Career Professional Member, Wade has presented her academic research at SPIE conferences as well as providing the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion keynote at SPIE Optics + Photonics in 2019. At that same conference, she also ran the first-ever SPIE Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon.

Wade currently works at Imperial College London's Blackett Laboratory, and her research investigates polymer-based, light-emitting diodes (LEDs). She completed both her MSC (2012) and her PhD (2016) in physics at Imperial College London, and her research has been published in multiple journals. In addition to much-lauded work on diversity, she is the recipient of numerous academic awards, including the IOM3 Robert Perrin Medal for Materials Science, the IOP Bell-Burnell Award, the Physics Department for Postgraduate Research Symposium Prize, and the IOP Early Career Physics Communicator Award.

"Dr. Wade's efforts are recognized around the world for highlighting the achievements of women and minority scientists," notes Kimberly Jenkins, project lead for the #HiddenNoMore Initiative. "I have managed multiple women-leader programs, including hundreds of high-caliber global participants, and Dr. Jess Wade is simply among the best."

Read more about Jessica Wade and the SPIE Diversity Outreach Award.

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