Diversity needs to be promoted in engineering, report suggests

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1st December 2015 13:32 - Engineering

A recent report by the Royal Academy of Engineering has indicated that more work needs to be done to promote diversity in engineering, Diversity needs to be promoted in engineering, report suggestsdespite many engineering companies in the UK already actively driving gender balance in engineering roles. The report revealed that minorities which need to be promoted are: ethnicity/race, sexual orientation and disability.

The survey of engineering companies revealed that 96 per cent forecast difficulties in recruiting in the future, with many wanting to expand their talent pool.

Of the respondents 83 per cent said that diversity was vital to amplifying their capacity for creativity and innovation. A further 76 per cent said that promoting diversity is crucial to overcoming the current skills shortage.

The survey suggests that whilst gender is a key area of focus, the engineering industry should do more to acknowledge and help to tackle the barriers that may deter other underrepresented demographics from entering into and staying within the engineering sector.

In the United Kingdom, 1.8 million more engineers are predicted to be needed by 2020 – expanding the focus beyond gender, to other underrepresented groups, may be a way to effectively tackle the skills shortage.

The population of primary schools is made up of 25 per cent ethnic minority children. Similarly, 25 per cent of engineering graduates are from an ethnic minority background. Of the entire working age population, 12 per cent are ethnic minority individuals; however, just 6 per cent are professional engineers.

Chief Executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, said of the survey findings:

“Creating inclusive cultures across engineering companies is critical not only to engaging, attracting and retaining engineers of all ages, but also in driving innovation and creativity. Time and time again, it has been proven that greater diversity leads to increased innovation and creativity, and there is also a strong correlation with financial performance.”

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