The Royal Academy of Engineering, InterEngineering and Mott MacDonald are launching today a new series of online videos profiling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) engineers as part of LGBT History Month.

LGBT History Month is celebrated in February in the UK and aims to increase the visibility of LGBT people and their experiences, and to raise awareness of matters affecting the LGBT community.

As part of the month, the ‘What’s it like?’ video series 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 twenty successful LGBT role models working in a wide variety of engineering settings, from design studios to the British Army, including:

  • Dr Mark McBride-Wright, Chair and Co-founder of InterEngineering and a gay man
  • Kimberly Bartlett, a lighting engineer and a married lesbian woman
  • Amanda McKay, a nuclear quality director and a bisexual trans woman
  • Paul Robins, Chairman of the Railway Assurance Board at Crossrail and a gay man
  • Gyandeep Saikia, a senior systems engineer and a gay man

View the video profiles

Data on sexual and gender identity is not currently captured in the UK Census, although an accepted estimate is that 6% of the UK population is LGB. Further data shows that about 1% of the UK population are gender non-conforming and that their unemployment rate is three times higher than the national average. Comprehensive data is not available on the proportion of engineers who are LGBT, although a survey conducted in September 2014 by the Institution of Chemical Engineers and the South East diversity and inclusion (D&I) working group with a sample group of 279 engineers found 6% state that they are LGB, reflecting the make up of the UK population.

Dr Hayaatun Sillem, Deputy Chief Executive and D&I Champion at the Royal Academy of Engineering, says:

“The Royal Academy of Engineering is really pleased to support the launch of this series of videos showcasing LGBT engineers. 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. It is really good to see LGBT engineers making themselves visible, and working with us to increase and extend diversity and inclusion across the sector.”

Mike Haigh, Managing Director at Mott MacDonald, says:

“Each person profiled in the videos is making a valuable contribution to their field, and demonstrates that you can be LGBT+ and have a happy and successful career in engineering. Raising the profile of LGBT+ employees is crucial in order to further show that if you have a passion for engineering, you should absolutely consider a career in the profession.”

Dr Mark McBride-Wright, Chair and Co-founder of InterEngineering, says:

"We have produced these resources for engineering organisations to showcase the positive experiences of LBGT+ engineers. As a profession, we are at the beginning of a journey creating an inclusive industry for everyone and I hope these videos will play a part in attracting LGBT+ students to the engineering industry."

Notes to editors

  1. InterEngineering. InterEngineering connects, informs and empowers LGBT+ engineers and supporters through regular networking events such as site tours and panel discussions. They have four main pillars which describe their operations: engineering companies, engineering institutes, the UK Government and Talent Pipeline. InterEngineering currently comprises of three regional groups (London & South East, South West and Midlands) with a planned national expansion across the UK. InterEngineering operates through forming active corporate partnerships with engineering organisations, and is always keen to hear from organisations who share their goal of creating a diverse and inclusive profession for all.
  2. Mott MacDonald. Opening opportunities with connected thinking.

    Mott MacDonald is a US$2bn engineering, management and development consultancy.

    We’re involved in:
    - solving some of the world’s most urgent social, environmental and economic challenges
    - helping governments and businesses plan, deliver and sustain their strategic goals
    - responding to humanitarian and natural emergencies
    - improving people’s lives

    Our expertise by sector includes buildings, communications, defence, education, environment, health, industry, mining, oil and gas, power, transport, urban development, water, wastewater and more. Our skills encompass planning, studies and design, project finance, technical advisory services, project and programme management, management consultancy and beyond.

    For every project, we create the blend of talent needed to create the right result – appropriate; cost, carbon and resource-efficient; safe, easy and swift to deliver and operate; reliable and resilient; delivering great outcomes.

    Engineering. Management. Development. 
  3. 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:

Aaron Boardley or Jane Sutton at the Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0655 / 020 7766 0636
E: Aaron Boardley / Jane Sutton