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Inspiring Future LGBT+ Engineers and Disabled Engineers

Engineering needs to inspire more people from diverse backgrounds to consider a career in the profession. This project will use the skills, knowledge, experience and resources available through EDTs Experience Day programme and deliver a coordinated set of STEAM outreach ‘First Edition’ events to target organisations and establishments within the EqualEngineers network.

Inspiring Future LGBT+ Engineers and Disabled Engineers
Engineering needs to inspire more people from diverse backgrounds to consider a career in the profession. This project will use the skills, knowledge, experience and resources available through EDTs Experience Day programme and deliver a coordinated set of STEAM outreach ‘First Edition’ events to target organisations and establishments within the EqualEngineers network.
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In this project, engineers from diverse backgrounds will speak about their career to date, covering aspects of their identity, how they have overcome barriers to succeed, and provide advice to students on how they can become an engineer. Students will leave inspired and enthused with the knowledge that engineering is welcoming and accepting to people like them.

Target audience for this project includes the LGBT+ community and the disabled community.

LGBT+ community

Young people finding it difficult to reconcile their gender identity or sexual orientation use a lot of energy in their formative years doing so, so much so that they may not be focussing on future career options.

Our project will see us deliver up to 50 workshops to LGBT+ groups across the UK. The aim will be to inspire community members to consider a career in engineering.

Disabled / learning difficulties / neurodiverse community

Over 18% of the UK population has a disability, yet only 3% are in employment. Young people attending Specialist Educational Needs and / or Disability (SEN / SEND) schools contain a community of talent who are not regularly considered in outreach work for promoting opportunities in engineering, or for attending careers fairs. EqualEngineers found a number of teachers from SEN/SEND schools declining the invitation to their annual careers fairs promoting apprenticeship opportunities on the grounds that it would “not be relevant” for students. Influencers / gate-keepers are making assumptions on the potential for the students, and so by not offering these opportunities to engage, engineering will not profit from the skills the students have.

Our project will see us deliver up to 50 workshops to SEN/SEND schools across the UK. The aims will be to (a) inspire students members to consider a career in engineering and (b) educate teachers and carers that there are opportunities available, with the right support.

Why should you get involved?

There is a push from the National Apprenticeship Service to increase the diversity on Apprenticeship programmes, and so this project seeks to provide an activation point for this. 

Sponsoring companies will be able to send LGBT+ engineers and/or disabled engineers. LGBT+ and disabled diversity are difficult strands at present to track in most companies since they are not monitored on HR systems, and there is a hesitation and confusion around how to approach this with staff. Current solutions include sponsoring Pride events, or setting up internal LGBT+ or Ability networks, all of which can feel peripheral. 

Through sponsoring and promoting this project internally looking for volunteers, it is a direct way to showcase support for LGBT+ and disabled communities, and moreover, to link it to the skills agenda. 

If you are interested to find out more about this project and to register your interest as a sponsoring organisation, please get in touch.