The Royal Academy of Engineering (Academy), InterEngineering and Mott MacDonald are launching today a new series of online videos profiling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) engineers as part of LGBT History Month.
LGBT History Month is celebrated in February in the UK and aims to increase the visibility of LGBT people and their experiences, and to raise awareness of matters affecting the LGBT community.
As part of the month, the ‘What’s it like?’ video series is designed to inspire prospective engineers who are LGBT, as well as existing engineers who may wish to come out or transition at work. It features twenty successful LGBT role models working in a wide variety of engineering settings, from design studios to the British Army, including:
- Kimberly Bartlett, a lighting engineer and a married lesbian woman
- Amanda McKay, a nuclear quality director and a bisexual trans woman
Data on sexual and gender identity is not currently captured in the UK Census, although an accepted estimate is that 6% of the UK population is LGB. Further data shows that about 1% of the UK population are gender non-conforming and that their unemployment rate is three times higher than the national average. Comprehensive data is not available on the proportion of engineers who are LGBT, although a survey conducted in September 2014 by the Institution of Chemical Engineers and the South East diversity and inclusion (D&I) working group with a sample group of 279 engineers found 6% state that they are LGB, reflecting the make up of the UK population.
What is Interengineering?
InterEngineering connects, informs and empowers LGBT+ engineers and supporters through regular networking events such as site tours and panel discussions. They have four main pillars which describe their operations: engineering companies, engineering institutes, the UK Government and Talent Pipeline. InterEngineering currently comprises of three regional groups (London & South East, South West and Midlands) with a planned national expansion across the UK. InterEngineering operates through forming active corporate partnerships with engineering organisations, and is always keen to hear from organisations who share their goal of creating a diverse and inclusive profession for all.