The Royal Academy of Engineering was last night awarded the Best Diversity Resource Award at the Excellence in Diversity Awards for its ‘What’s it like?’ video series, a series of online videos profiling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) engineers created in collaboration with InterEngineering and Mott MacDonald.

The award, which was co-awarded to InterEngineering and Mott MacDonald alongside the Academy, recognises an organisation that has shown outstanding dedication to supplying diversity related resources.

The ‘What’s it like?’ series was launched in February 2017 as part of LGBT History Month and 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 20 successful LGBT role models working in a wide variety of engineering settings, from design studios to the British Army.

Dr Hayaatun Sillem, Chief Executive designate and Diversity & Inclusion Champion for the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “The Academy is committed to developing an engineering profession that is truly inclusive and diverse, and raising the visibility of LGBT+ role models is a crucial step to achieving this goal. Experience of leading our programme to increase diversity and inclusion across engineering tells us that role models have a pivotal role to play in encouraging people to join and stay in the profession.

“We are delighted to have been awarded the Best Diversity Resource Award alongside InterEngineering and Mott MacDonald and I would like to offer my congratulations to everyone involved in creating the ‘What’s it like?’ series.”

At the Excellence in Diversity Awards Dinner, held in Manchester on 30 November, the Academy was also announced as one of the top 50 inclusive employers in the UK, at 41st most inclusive company in the UK, a ranking that reflects the Academy’s focus on its own inclusivity efforts.

The Academy runs a Diversity and Inclusion Programme aiming to increase diversity and inclusion within the engineering profession, while also working to apply best practice to its own culture, to ensure that it remains at the forefront of what it means to be diverse and inclusive.

Compiled by a dedicated panel of judges, the ‘Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers 2017’ list is collated based on each organisation’s performance, including recruitment procedures, training and a host of diversity related initiatives.

Notes to editors

  1. The Excellence in Diversity Awards are an annual awards ceremony honouring the remarkable work of inclusive employers, diversity champions and outstanding networks across the UK. The Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers list recognises organisations that actively incorporate all strands of diversity – those featured on the list have provided sufficient evidence of their inclusivity practices and have been ranked to reflect their progress in the diversity arena.
  2. The Academy’s Diversity and Inclusion Programme Strategy 2016-2020: The Royal Academy of Engineering is leading a programme to increase diversity and inclusion across the engineering profession.


An inclusive engineering profession that inspires, attracts and retains people from diverse backgrounds and reflects UK society.


Leading the engineering profession to challenge the status quo, stimulate cultural change and improve diversity and inclusion.

For more information on the Academy’s Diversity and Inclusion work please visit the webpage: or email

  1. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

We have four strategic challenges:
- Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
- Address the engineering skills crisis
- Position engineering at the heart of society
- Lead the profession

For more information please contact: