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Royal Academy calls for industry to tackle ethnic diversity

UK engineering companies need to work harder to promote ethnicity/race, sexual orientation and disability diversity, according to a new report from the Royal Academy.

The Royal Academy has said that business are already well engaged in driving better gender balance in the engineering profession but more work is needed in the area of ethnic diversity.

According to figures released by the academy, people from ethnic minorities make up 25% of the UK’s primary school children, 25% of engineering graduates and 12% of the working age population but account for only around 6% of those in employed as professional engineers.

The recommendations of the new reports were shared with industry leaders at an event in London yesterday. The reports published include a case study toolkit for increasing diversity and inclusion in engineering and the Diversity and inclusion in engineering survey report 2015 provides a benchmark against which to measure future progress in improving diversity across the engineering sector.

“Diversity work by engineering companies is having a positive impact, but there is still some way to go in developing truly inclusive workplaces,” said Atkins chairman Allan Cook who chaired the academy’s diversity leadership group. “It is encouraging to see work being done to address barriers faced by lesbian and gay people, and it would be good to see more in relation to ethnic minorities. We also need to become smarter at recruiting and retaining disabled people, and people from any background with the prerequisite skills.”

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