Royal Academy of Engineering celebrates Black History Month 2019

The Academy is celebrating Black History Month (BHM) by showcasing leading black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) engineers. Read their stories, including how they got into engineering, their career highlights, and their thoughts on how racial parity in engineering can be achieved.


Why focus on BAME engineers?  

  • The Academy’s Creating cultures where all engineers thrive report, based on a survey of over 7,000 engineers, demonstrated that BAME engineers were more than 10% less likely to feel ‘quite’ or ‘very’ included than their white colleagues, and more than 10% less likely to speak up on inappropriate behaviour than their white colleagues
  • BAME engineers were also 25% more likely than their white colleagues to report that assumptions were made about them based on their ethnicity or nationality
  • Academy research also highlights the unequal employment outcomes of ethnic minority engineering graduates. In 2018, 27% of UK-domiciled engineering graduates came from BAME backgrounds but only 7.8% of engineering professionals are from BAME backgrounds

Inclusion benefits the performance of both individual engineers and organisations. The more included engineers feel the more likely they are to understand business priorities, be confident about speaking up on improvements, mistakes or safety concerns, and see a future for themselves in engineering.

Explore the Academy’s practical toolkit to create and maintain inclusive cultures.


How can engineering organisations improve BAME representation in engineering?

Join the Academy’s award-winning Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme (GEEP).

  • GEEP is an engineering-wide programme designed to increase the transition of engineering graduates from diverse backgrounds into employment

    The programme targets engineering undergraduates who are female or from a socially disadvantaged or black, Asian or ethnic minority background and brings them into contact with a range of leading engineering companies providing engagement opportunities, mentoring, speed networking and CV and interview skills sessions

    Events will take place in Birmingham and London in October. Over 650 students from 66 universities (90% BAME, 30% female and 80% from non-Russell Group universities) have taken part in GEEP to date with many gaining placements and employment. Employers interested in joining GEEP can contact the Academy. Engineering students can apply here


Explore tools and resources

The Academy has a growing collection of useful tools and resources for both engineering employers and professional engineering institutions to improve diversity and inclusion (D&I) including:

  • Increasing D&I in engineering – a toolkit with 17 case studies from engineering organisations to showcase successful action to increase D&I
  • An Inclusive Recruitment Toolkit developed in partnership with engineering employers to support more inclusive recruitment practices with a focus on culture, foundations, attraction and talent sourcing, selection and assessment, and retention, giving examples of best practice
  • A Diversity and inclusion measurement in engineering framework to help organisations to take evidence-based action to increase D&I, and to monitor and report progress. The 16 measures provide a framework to drive cultural and behavioural change in leadership, attraction and recruitment, retention and progression through leaders, managers and HR
  • Valuable insights in short films across several projects that demonstrate D&I in engineering


How is the Academy celebrating Black History Month?

  • The Academy is showcasing leading BAME engineers and highlighting resources and tools for change in a month-long campaign
  • It is hosting a series of events to increase internal Academy awareness of BHM including a themed awareness event, a book club and well-being session