In 2020 the LMS Women in Mathematics (WiM) Committee expanded its remit from a focus on gender inequalities in mathematics to allow it to take a much broader look at other aspects of diversity within the mathematical community. The committee was renamed the Committee for Women and Diversity in Mathematics to reflect its wider mission. The Committee has representatives from the Institute of Mathematics and its Application (IMA), the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), the Operational Research Society (OR), the Edinburgh Mathematical Society (EMS) and European Women in Mathematics (EWM).
The change of remit enables the LMS to work more effectively at addressing such issues as the under-representation of Black academics at the professorial level. Indeed, we want to champion cultural and organisational change to ensure that the UK excels in attracting and supporting Black staff and students as well as those from other minority ethnic backgrounds. We want to support the creation of an environment that encourages an open discussion of race-related issues and challenges racism. In addition, we want to ensure that anyone with an interest in mathematics is supported, encouraged and made to feel welcome, so that they are able to participate and thrive in the profession. Underrepresentation inevitably leads to missed opportunities and the loss of mathematical talent. We are committed to celebrating, recognising and supporting a diverse mathematical community of individuals across the spectrum of age, race, gender, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, religion and religious belief, marital status, parental status, body shape or size, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, employment status and other aspects of diversity. Moreover, such celebration, recognition and support must be authentic and intersectional in approach and outlook.
Previously, the WiM Committee had offered support for running Women in Mathematics Days (now Women and Non-Binary People in Mathematics Days) and Girls in Mathematics Days. Now, in addition to these events, the Committee is able to offer support for events focussed on other aspects of Diversity in Mathematics and has become a regular contributor to the annual LGBT+ STEMinar (a cross discipline conference that brings together LGBTQ+ people working in STEM, providing important networking and professional development opportunities, and visibility for this invisible diversity). More recently, the Committee has collaborated with Numberfit in a project to amplify the profiles of mathematicians from underrepresented groups. The LMS is among the organisers of the yearly conference on Black Heroes of Mathematics, which the Committee promotes and supports. However, more work is needed, particularly to address racial inequality within the mathematics community and systemic barriers to access. Events targeted at raising awareness and celebrating diversity are an important part of this, but they sit within a broader piece of work aimed at creating genuine positive and inclusive change.
There is still a long way to go in transforming the culture and lived reality of the UK mathematics scene for the benefit of all mathematicians, but the broadening of the remit of the former WiM Committee is an important step in that direction. This journey necessitates opening a conversation with you about your lived experiences within the mathematical sciences community. We invite you to raise with us issues you may be experiencing and that you think the Committee for Women and Diversity in Mathematics should consider. We invite you also to contact us if you would like to organise events dedicated to Diversity in Mathematics.
If you have any questions or comments about the work of the Committee for Women and Diversity in Mathematics, please email email@example.com.