It is rather rare to see a woman dominate in the field of physics. But Phillips was determined to carve out a niche for herself in the physics arena, which is dominated mostly by men.
Monifa Phillips is no ordinary woman. Recently, she shattered the glass ceiling by becoming the first black woman to graduate with a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Glasgow, and Dr. Monifa Phillips did this while being told that black people were just not good at science.
Monifa Phillips Becomes The First Black Woman to Earn PHD in Physics From The University of Glasgow https://t.co/5zRS0M4zp9— The Black Detour (@theblackdetour) July 10, 2019
It is rather rare to see a woman dominate in the field of physics. But Phillips was determined to carve out a niche for herself in the physics arena, which is dominated mostly by men. According to statistics provided by the National Science Foundation, only 5.4 per cent of Ph.D. recipients are black.
This week I was the very first black woman to graduate from the Uni of Glasgow with a PhD in Physics.— Monifa Phillips, PhD (@monifa_monifa) June 30, 2019
I'm a proud Black British woman from LDN. I made space for myself in a predominantly white, male field. It was hard, but with the support of my family & my community, I did it. pic.twitter.com/12YYOiJq0c
But the racism is too real, and that's something that Phillips experienced first-hand. She shared one particular experience on Twitter when she was told: "Black people aren't good at science, they're just better at music."
Luckily, in the career path I've chosen, I can actually look at the 'our people' page and see whether or not they hire black people or POC. Otherwise I have to ask, "DO YOU HIRE BLACK AND BROWN PEOPLE? FOR THERE IS NO EVIDENCE." and see how they respond.— Monifa Phillips, PhD (@monifa_monifa) May 24, 2019
Too awks to ask? https://t.co/mKB4Tdiu5o
".. interview a biochemist called Gerhard Meisenberg working in Dominica, I was told matter-of-factly that there are racial differences in intelligence. “Jews tend to do very well, Chinese and Japanese pretty well, and Blacks and Hispanics not so well." https://t.co/nAYQpWE5Ka— Monifa Phillips, PhD (@monifa_monifa) May 20, 2019
Even when it came to companies hiring her, Phillips said that she would go through the organization's website to check if they hire persons of color. She revealed that even in this case, she has to ask a very obvious question: "Do you hire black and brown people? For there is no evidence."
Today we're delighted to congratulate Dr Monifa Phillips, the first black woman to be awarded a PhD degree from @UofGPhysAstro. We recognise that Physics suffers from a lack of racial diversity; although Monifa is the first, we are determined she will not be the last PhD awarded! pic.twitter.com/UaOFMMMQ3H— UofG PhysAstro (@UofGPhysAstro) June 24, 2019
The lack of diversity in her field has been noted by Phillips. "I'm a proud Black British woman from (London). I made space for myself in a predominantly white, male field," she wrote on Twitter. "It was hard, but with the support of my family & my community, I did it."
More about my research!— Monifa Phillips, PhD (@monifa_monifa) July 6, 2019
I'm an experimental physicist and I had access to fancy enough equipment to make my own RRAM devices. Mine were 'thin film heterostructures', which means that they were stacks of extremely thin layers of different materials.
Our demand for more memory keeps growing. We always want more storage space in smaller and smaller devices. For example, remember 3.5" floppy disks? They stored only 1.44MB. Today we can buy 64GB micro SDs that store more than 40 thousand times that of our beloved 3.5" floppy! pic.twitter.com/KbFy1Gd4x4— Monifa Phillips, PhD (@monifa_monifa) July 4, 2019
Her stellar achievement has also been recognized by the University of Glasgow's School of Physics and Astronomy. They congratulated on her accomplishment and made a promise they intend to stick by. A Tweet congratulating Dr. Phillips says: "We recognize that Physics suffers from a lack of racial diversity; although Monifa is the first, we are determined she will not be the last PhD awarded!"
A hearty congratulations to Dr. Monifa Phillips!