Engineering and technology businesses are being urged to join a pioneering diversity employment scheme to help address inclusion issues among the sector. Rolls Royce and Network Rail, 2 of EngineeringUK’s Corporate Members, are among those who have joined the scheme.
Diversity and inclusion problems within the engineering industry are not only being faced by those working in it but are prominent among engineering students from underrepresented groups.
Students from diverse backgrounds face additional challenges in securing graduate employment in engineering, and statistics paint a stark picture about the employment opportunities available to underrepresented groups. For example, Black and minority ethnic students studying engineering make up 26% of the student population, yet only nine percent end up in employment. This is a massive drop off compared to their white counterparts.
Creating greater employability outcomes
To make a significant impact on the diversity of the engineering workforce, there needs to be better support made available to engineering students in securing employment over a long period during their studies.
In response to this, EqualEngineers launched an exciting solution called the EqualEngineers Pathways Programme. This has a purpose to provide students with a variety of supportive elements to ensure greater employability outcomes after graduation, and to improve their sense of inclusion and belonging within the engineering and technology industry.
EqualEngineers founder and creator of the Pathways Programme Dr Mark McBride-Wright, a gay, safety engineer himself, said: “The programme is running right now, providing students access to things like in-person careers insights and employability workshop sessions, virtual training on work readiness and interpersonal skills development.
“Organisations taking part in the programme are looking to support the necessity to improve the employability opportunities of students from diverse backgrounds and are striving to impact their own organisation’s inclusive culture…It’s all about improving skills, confidence, employability and challenging any misconceptions.”