Introduce transparent pay structures and grades to close the engineering gender pay gap

Research published by the Academy shows that although the gender pay gap is smaller in the engineering profession than the UK employee average, closing it will take a concerted effort.

One well-recognised issue that is contributing to the engineering gender pay gap is the lack of women going into the profession while attempts have been made to address this, progress has been disappointingly slow. The Academy's new Closing the engineering gender pay gap report recommends actions that go beyond addressing this initial recruitment challenge to close the gender pay gap through addressing the retention and progression of women to more senior and higher paid roles. The most effective actions include implementing transparent pay structures and grades, reviewing promotion criteria and introducing flexible working options for senior roles.

To compile Closing the engineering gender pay gap, the first report of its kind for the engineering profession, the Academy commissioned WISE to analyse the pay data of nearly 42,000 engineers working in the UK, to approximate the gender pay gap for the engineering profession.


Become a majority ally to support inclusive cultures in your organisation

Do you support your colleagues? Are you open to difference and considerate of others? Are you approachable and able to listen? If so, then you are already an ally to your colleagues. Majority allies play an important role in creating and maintaining inclusive workplaces, where everyone can feel properly valued and respected.

On 3 December, the Academy marked the International Day of Disabled Persons by placing online the first two videos in a series on the important role majority allies play in building an inclusive culture. 

Watch Lorraine Martins (Network Rail) on being a disability ally and Mark Sutcliffe (KBR) on gender. Zeb Farooq, Shenge Zhi (Wood) and Riya Amin (Roke) and Gareth Jones (Arcadis)  focus on using partnerships as allies to change the culture of engineering.

The Academy’s Creating Cultures where all engineers thrive report, based on a survey of over 7,000 engineers, recommended creating a critical mass of allies who could then influence organisations to increase the inclusive culture of engineering organisations. An action group of the Academy’s Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Group*, has created a set of resources to support individuals who wish to be an ally and organisations who may wish to have an allies programme or support allies within their organisation. The resources include six short films, the role profile of an ally with key qualities required, and information on how organisations can support allies.


Interested in composites and materials? 

Join InterEngineering for a cross-sector seminar on ‘composites and materials’ on the 25 February in Bristol, hosted by Arup with sponsorship from the Academy. This event forms part of the Academy’s Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) History month campaign.

Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIS)

Diversity data workshop, Monday 27 April

Join the Academy and the Science Council to improve your understanding of and capability around collecting, analysing and reporting diversity data. The event will be kindly hosted by the Institute of Physics (IOP). Representatives from the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Physics (IOP), the Organisation for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs (TOPRA), the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) will relay their experiences around diversity data collection. They will share practical tips, advice and discuss how to use data to effect change.

The workshop is part of a series of workshops organised by the Academy and the Science council to support science and engineering professional bodies that use the D&I Progression Framework. Previous events included a workshop on D&I in grants, prizes and awards and a workshop on increasing D&I in education and training, course accreditation and examinations. If you have any questions, please contact Monica Stancu.

D&I inside the Academy

Embedding diversity and inclusion

The Academy organised a bespoke disability workshop focused on delivering accessible events and workplace adjustments for colleagues. The Academy also launched its workplace adjustment passport for staff as part of activities to mark World Disability Day. Safeguarding, anti-bullying and harassment training are currently taking place for all Academy staff. This is aimed at embedding respective policies and procedures by creating a working environment where everyone can thrive. In late April, the Research team is organising a “Diversity and Inclusion in Practice” session. This training will help staff involved in grants and awards selection panels to understand and spot micro-messages and to challenge them appropriately.


Celebrating LGBT History Month

To mark LGBT History Month, the Academy is working with InterEngineering (IE), the national network of LGBT engineers, to raise awareness of barriers to inclusion, to highlight LGBT engineers, and to share information, tools and resources to develop a more inclusive culture within engineering for LGBT engineers.

According to research conducted by the Academy LGB** engineers are less likely to feel ‘quite’ or included and less likely to say ‘I can be open about my sexual orientation’ than their heterosexual colleagues. 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.


What do engineers really look like?

On This Is Engineering (TIE) Day (6 November), the Academy joined forces with leading businesses, brands and engineers to show the world what engineering and engineers really look like. The Academy launched Season 4 (part of TIE) - 3 themed films containing a mixture of previously featured protagonists, ensuring that a blend of gender, ethnicity and educational routes are included.  In the first two years of the campaign, the films have been watched by 38 million times and gained 1 million social media engagements. Approximately 90% of the video views were by 13-17 year olds, 50% of whom were female. Additionally, the Academy launched the “This is Engineering (TIE)” image library on Flickr, a free-to-access public image library featuring diverse engineers in broad roles – the Academy has 400 commissioned images of 19 protagonists (53% female, 32% BME).


*A network of over 60 interested engineering employers collaborating to share and develop effective approaches to addressing diversity and inclusion challenges faced by the engineering sector.

** The Creative Cultures where all engineers thrive survey did not have sufficient transgender responses to maintain anonymity, so only findings from lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) engineers are reported.

The previous newsletter can be found here.