IGEM signs pledge to promote representation in engineering

13/11/2019 13:19
Female engineer

IGEM, the professional institution for the gas industry, has signed a pledge to promote more representative images of engineers and engineering to the public.

The pledge was created by the Royal Academy of Engineering as part of its This is Engineering campaign to address the significant skills and diversity shortfall hampering the profession.

IGEM CEO, Neil Atkinson said: “Engineering plays an incredible role in shaping the world around us, but shortfalls in skills and diversity persist. We hope that by signing and supporting this pledge we will raise awareness of the breadth of careers in engineering, and help address the significant engineering skills and diversity shortfall that is holding back growth and productivity across the UK economy.”

Every year, the UK is short 59,000 engineers, while only 12 per cent of the professional engineers in the UK are female, and just nine per cent are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

In January 2018, the Royal Academy of Engineering launched a campaign film which was viewed by 35 million people. Seventy-two per cent of young teens who watched the film said they would consider a career in engineering, compared to only 39 per cent before the campaign launched.

IGEM believes that continued efforts to showcase representative images of engineering will help the UK to significantly reduce its engineer shortfall at a time when knowledge and innovation are paramount to success.

Neil added: “The importance of this initiative cannot be understated for two key reasons. The first being the need to bring new people into the sector over the coming years following UK’s commitment to transition to net zero carbon emissions, and because of the poor diversity evident within our own profession.

“Engineering is a fantastic and broad career, and offers far more than the ‘construction workers in hard hats’ stereotype, which is why IGEM is proud to be supporting the Royal Academy of Engineering’s initiative to encourage more people, from all backgrounds, to consider engineering careers.”

This week is Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, celebrating the unsung contribution that engineers make to our lives. For more information and to show your support visit www.thisisengineering.org.uk and follow @ThisIsEngineering on Instagram. 

Editor’s notes

For more information or to arrange an interview, email IGEM Journal Editor Sharon Baker-Hallam at sharon@igem.org.uk or call +44 (0)1509 678186.

The Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers, IGEM, is the professional engineering institution supporting individuals and businesses working in the global gas industry. Our core role is to encourage the highest standards of professional competence amongst individuals working in the industry. We help individuals stay up to date by delivering technical training. We support industry through the development of technical standards that are recognised around the world. We share knowledge and expertise amongst our members and the wider gas industry. We work across sectors to demonstrate the innovation taking place in the industry through networking events and conferences.

We are licensed by the Engineering Council to award the professional titles Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer and Engineering Technician and support individuals to become professionally registered engineers. Working with stakeholders from across the sector we seek to demonstrate how the gas industry will help to decarbonise the energy sector and represent the views of our members to inform and influence future energy policy.

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