IoP is always looking for ‘exceptional’, ‘highly motivated’ or ‘ambitious’ employees, according to its advertisements. This makes sense, since we strive to do excellent physics research. However, research has shown that hiring procedures in physics are definitely not only about qualities and motivation: gender and ethnicity of the candidate significantly influence the chance of getting hired.
It is hard for anybody not to let unconscious biases influence a subjective process such as hiring a new employee. Nevertheless, this does not mean we should accept the status quo. We can reduce the unconscious bias and this will lead to a fairer institute with more diverse teams. To do so, for example unconscious bias trainings are being given at the faculty. Other strategies that have been used in other institutions to fight hiring bias include: structured inteviews, diverse panels reviewing the candidate or even using AI to review candidates. However, there is not just one silver bullet. It is the responsibility of each and every individual in the hiring process to ask oneself: what can I do to reduce my unconscious bias?