The survey is the brainchild of Dr Mark McBride-Wright, who set up EqualEngineers, after years of working in the sector and seeing not only the challenges that the lack of diversity can bring, but also the risks posed to health, safety and wellbeing. Being a gay safety engineer himself, and setting up networking group InterEngineering for LGBT+ engineers gave him the drive to set up EqualEngineers as an organisation covering all aspects of diversity.
"For me, inclusivity in the workplace is a health and safety issue. Not being able to be open about who you are, because of attitudes and lack of diversity around you can lead to mental health issues and decreased wellbeing. In Construction, for example, an industry where suicide rates among men are more than three times the national average, more needs to be done to ensure that commitment to these issues goes much further than token inclusion policies.
Our survey revealed some alarming statistics that nearly one in 5 engineers have lost a work colleague to suicide, and over one in 5 have self-harmed or considered ending their own life through suicide.
We need to create parity of esteem between mental health and physical safety in engineering. We need to rapidly overhaul the way in which we approach culture change programmes within our industry, and we need to ensure everyone feels included, and is able to find their voice as part of the diversity narrative."