For the first time, professional bodies across engineering and science have joined forces to benchmark their performance on diversity and inclusion (D&I).
Led by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Science Council, twenty professional engineering institutions (PEIs) and 21 scientific bodies self-assessed their performance in eight areas of professional body activity: governance and leadership; membership and professional registration; meetings, conferences and events; education and training, accreditation and examinations; prizes, awards and grants; communications, marketing, outreach and engagement; employment; and monitoring and measuring.
Findings from the exercise show that:
- Governance and leadership is an area of strength;
- D&I performance is weakest in education and training, accreditation and examinations, and in prizes, awards and grants;
- Women are better represented on boards, as chairs of board committees and in the membership of science professional bodies than PEIs;
- Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people are better represented on the boards of PEIs than of scientific professional bodies, although very few of the participating professional bodies across engineering and science have any BAME people in senior staff leadership positions;
- Patterns of self-assessment are very similar across both sectors, but more data and resources are needed to continue the work of monitoring and development.
The benchmarking exercise, led by a collaboration between the Academy and the Science Council, is based on a Diversity and Inclusion Progression Framework developed to support professional body commitment to long-term action on D&I, and complement the traditional focus on increasing the numbers of employee from diverse backgrounds.