Today, nineteen more professional engineering institutions will sign up to the Engineering Diversity Concordat committing to address the gender, ethnicity and disability gap affecting the profession.

Led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Concordat is a voluntary commitment by Professional Engineering Institutions to take action to attract, recruit and retain people from increasingly diverse backgrounds into professional membership and registration.

Analysis of those working across professional engineering shows that women make up 51% of the UK population but only 8% of the engineering workforce. As regards ethnicity, while 20% of UK resident graduate engineers are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, they represent only 6% of the engineering workforce. These figures indicate the potential to address the skills gap of the UK’s industrial sector, which is expected to need 1.28 million science, engineering and technology professionals and technicians by 2020.

Professor Dame Wendy Hall DBE FREng FRS, Chair of the Engineering Diversity Concordat said: ‘The ultimate goal of the concordat is to ensure our profession and its institutions continue to thrive both now and in the future. To do this, each and every one of us must play a part in attracting and retaining engineers from increasingly diverse backgrounds into professional membership and registration.’

Today’s new signatories bring the number of Professional Engineering Institutions that have signalled their commitment to developing diversity in their membership to 26, out of a total of 36. Together this represents over 90% of the professional engineering registrant population, covering more than 215,000 professional engineers.

The Academy is committed to partnership working across the engineering institutions and industry and is focused on bringing the different stakeholders together to develop actions, share good practice and make progress.

In addition to the Concordat, over 40 employers from a number of engineering disciplines have joined the Academy’s Diversity Leadership Group. The aim of the group is to develop a range of practical actions to widen the talent pool of engineers entering industry in the short term and for years to come.

Diversity is a key theme of the Academy’s  Engineering for Growth  campaign, which aims to raise debate on the issues that prevent engineering making an even bigger contribution to growth in the economy and quality of life.

Notes for editors

  1. The Engineering Diversity Concordat (EDC) and the Diversity Leadership Group are 2 key strands of the Royal Academy of Engineering Diversity Programme funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). The EDC is chaired by Professor Dame Wendy Hall DBE FRS FREng and the DLG by Allan Cook CBE FREng
  2. The Concordat and accompanying Resource Guide for signatories can be found at:
    Engineering Diversity Concordat
  3. The concordat was first signed at the Royal Academy of Engineering on May 7 2013 by:
    - Engineering Council
    - Royal Academy of Engineering
    - Institution of Engineering and Technology
    - Institution of Chemical Engineers
    - Institution of Mechanical Engineers
    - Institute of Physics
    - Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
    - Institution of Civil Engineers
    - Royal Aeronautical Society
  4. New signatories to the concordat are:
    - BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT
    - Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation
    - Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering
    - Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management
    - Institute of Healthcare Engineering & Estate Management
    - Institute of Engineering Designers
    - Energy Institute
    - Nuclear Institute
    - Institute of Physics & Engineering in Medicine
    - Royal Institution of Naval Architects
    - Institution of Railway Signal Engineers
    - Institute of Measurement and Control
    - Institute of Marine Engineering Science & Technology
    - Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers
    - Institute of Acoustics
    - Society of Environmental Engineers
    - Society of Operations Engineers
    - Institution of Diesel and Gas Turbine Engineers
    - Institute of Highway Engineers
  5. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship - comprising the UK's most eminent engineers - provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain's engineering community.

For more information please contact

Manisha Lalloo at the Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0683; email: Manisha Lalloo