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New report says engineering culture in the UK needs to become more inclusive

Published: 03/05/2023

The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) has recently published a new report, Inclusive Cultures in Engineering 2023, in which it concluded that the culture of the engineering profession in the UK needs to accelerate its drive to become more inclusive if the UK is to continue to be a key player in the global race for engineering skills.

The report analysed the results of research commissioned by the RAEng to better understand how engineers perceive the current culture of the engineering profession and whether it is attracting, developing and retaining the number and diversity of engineers needed. The report explores the relationship between culture, inclusion and diversity and, in particular, intersectional data from underrepresented groups.

Nearly seven million employees work in engineering in the UK and the responses of the 1,657 engineers and employers who participated in the research indicate that engineers feel pride in their profession with eight in ten (81%) keen to promote it as a career.

The increasing role of positive action policies and programmes may be having a positive effect. Through exploring intersectional data, respondents who identified as both LGBTQ+ and Black, Asian or minority ethnic, and those with a disability and who are Black, Asian or minority ethnic agreed that diversity had improved in engineering (87% and 88% respectively).

When it comes to making engineering more inclusive, the sector needs to work more innovatively and collaboratively to ensure the profession is fit for the future. Although three-quarters of engineers surveyed believe that inclusion in engineering has improved in the past five years, underrepresented groups are less likely to view the culture in this way.

The report’s recommendations for cultivating a more inclusive profession are grouped under four themes: improving the culture of inclusion; nurturing a sense of belonging; tackling bullying, harassment and discrimination; and improving retention and success.

Louise Parry FCIPD, Director of People and Organisational Development at Energy and Utility Skills and Chair of the Inclusive Cultures Advisory Group, said: “The recommendations the report calls for are essential if we are to make engineering a truly inclusive profession to work in and for UK engineering to continue to be a key player in the global race for engineering skills.”

For more details and to read the report, please visit the RAEng website.