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Poll: Should engineering companies be providing more LGBT+ support?

23/07/2019
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With more focus being put on inclusivity in the workplace, the way global companies deal with equality in all forms is often highlighted. One area that is often difficult for industries to overcome is offering support and inclusivity for LGBT+ workers.

We want to know what EngineeringPro readers think about the way engineering industries support the LGBT+ community within the workplace, and what further steps companies should be taking in this area. Have your say by voting in our poll or leaving a comment below.

The engineering industry remains, in many ways, a traditional one when it comes to culture and hiring practices. Despite significant strides in recent years, a study published last month by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) found that 30% of LGBT+ young people in the UK would not consider a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), due to fears of discrimination.

Speaking to Pink News, the IET’s diversity and inclusion manager, Jo Foster, said:

“The research backs up fears that gender stereotyping within STEM careers is alive and well, potentially damaging the diversity of talent coming into the industry.

“This, coupled with the fact that there is an estimated annual shortfall of 59,000 technicians to fill engineering roles, clearly demonstrates a need for action.”

LGBT representation in engineering is improving, but there is still more than companies can do to improve their support for the community

In addition to losing out on the benefits of a diverse workforce and reducing the number of skilled workers in an industry, there are other significant drawbacks for businesses.

A report published in 2015 by Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke, titled “Engineering Action: Tackling Homophobia in Engineering”, suggested that as much as £11.2 billion a year is currently lost due to “bullying and pressures on LGBT engineers in the workplace.”

The report went on to suggest actions for engineering companies, including establishing a diversity and inclusion policy, setting up role model programs and introducing unconscious bias training among others.

Since that time there has been a significant improvement from many major companies. Last week, LGBT+ rights organisation Stonewall listed BP as one of fourteen companies in their Top Global Employers list for the third year running, highlighting the firm’s work to establish a safe, inclusive work environment and their training programs for all staff.

It’s clear that when companies include these options they can succeed in creating a better workplace for everyone. But more needs to be done throughout the industry. 

Have your say

Vote in the poll above on what steps more engineering companies should do to promote diversity, or leave a comment below. The results and best comments will be published on Monday 29th July and featured in next week’s EngineeringPro newsletter.

Tags: Engineering
Recent Comments
Sorry, but it's too much and overdone. We are already bombarded constantly in media by LGBT. If they really want acceptance, then being part of this group should NOT even matter, as they would be hired based on their CREDENTIALS, not because of who they are sleeping with. I notice even a lot of company profiles will ask this question now, in addition to "visible minority status" - I suggest the LGBT status shouldn't even be asked. You can include people without having to shine a light on them. With bullying, it could also be many are extremely outward making their status known, and the reaction could simply be a normal reaction to anyone who's too over the top, not necessarily because they are gay. If they behaved more normally, nobody would bat an eye at their status. Also, if this comment itself becomes moderated, you can never get a true sense of an objective public opinion.
Don, 23 July 2019
O&G industry is still a "Man´s world". I struggled for years to build up my career and I can assure the readers that I do not go around with Gucci bags in my hand...I prepared myself, studied a master, did a second one, training and training and what more. As a young professional you need inevitably the support of (real) open-minded and enlightened managers. So YES, Engineering companies should provide more support to LGBT+ person. A comment here stated that "We are already bombarded constantly in media by LGBT". Yes we are and media should keep going on: in an Industry were we are still fighting for the parity between man and women into Boards and management roles and work places, I wonder how it could be disputed that LGBT+ personnel does not require a special attention. With kind regards
Mauro, 25 July 2019
Yes - (not just) engineering companies should be providing more LGBT+ support. But it should be at least equal to the support companies provide to any / all minority groups. The more companies actively promote anti-discrimination, tolerance, and inclusiveness the sooner society in general will do the same.
Rob, 26 July 2019
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Poll: Should engineering companies be providing more LGBT+ support? - Time to read 3 min
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