In The Hidden Engineers, Mark McBride-Wright reviews the alarming results of a new study conducted by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) into ‘minority’ employees and what engineering firms must do to improve diversity and inclusion. Benefits include accessing a wider pool of talent for recruiting future engineers, and increased retention of the current workforce.
Mark describes his experience to date as an LGBT engineer and explains why InterEngineering was needed. The topic complements InterEngineering’s recent event on LGBT Company Networks. The conversation surrounding sexual orientation equality in the workplace is still an uncomfortable conversation within engineering. Many engineers in the workforce do not understand why it is important to collect data on the workforce. It allows an organisation to benchmark improvements overtime. Other key benefits for industry supporting its LGBT employees include: productivity gains; ability to meet supplier clauses/bidding requirements related to demonstrable inclusion; removal of barriers to staff progression; establishing a culture where concerns can be raised; creating a positive impact on individuals during recruitment and delivering a better perception of the company overall.
LGBT engineers are often not considered when setting up company networks as engineering still has a tendency to focus on visible minorities: gender, ethnicity and age. Groups should be all encompassing, and also open to anyone to join, inclusive as opposed to exclusive. Voicing and supporting the needs of a minority group to which you do not belong will make you one of the strongest advocates for its needs; an ally for its cause.
InterEngineering is keen to hear from employees and executives involved in LGBT inclusion in engineering. Please get in touch, and sign up to our mailing list to be kept up-to-date with new events and recourses.