The Royal Academy of Engineering, InterEngineering and Mott MacDonald have launched a new series of online videos profiling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) engineers as part of LGBT History Month in February.
The What’s it like? video series is designed to inspire prospective engineers who are LGBT, as well as existing engineers who may wish to come out or transition at work. It features twenty successful LGBT role models working in a wide variety of engineering settings, from design studios to the British Army. The video profiles can be viewed at interengineeringlgbt.com.
According to the Academy, data on sexual and gender identity is not currently captured in the UK Census, although an accepted estimate is that 6% of the UK population is LGB. Further data shows that about 1% of the UK population are gender non-conforming and that their unemployment rate is three times higher than the national average. Comprehensive data is not available on the proportion of engineers who are LGBT, although a survey conducted in September 2014 by the Institution of Chemical Engineers and the South East diversity and inclusion (D&I) working group with a sample group of 279 engineers found 6% state that they are LGB, reflecting the UK population.
Dr Hayaatun Sillem, Deputy Chief Executive and D&I Champion at the Academy, says: “The Royal Academy of Engineering is really pleased to support the launch of this series of videos showcasing LGBT engineers. Experience of leading our programme to increase diversity and inclusion across engineering tells us that role models have a pivotal role to play in encouraging people to join and stay in the profession.”
Mike Haigh, Managing Director at Mott MacDonald, adds: “Each person profiled in the videos is making a valuable contribution to their field, and demonstrates that you can be LGBT+ and have a happy and successful career in engineering. Raising the profile of LGBT+ employees is crucial in order to further show that if you have a passion for engineering, you should absolutely consider a career in the profession.”
For more information and to view the videos, please click on interengineeringlgbt.com.