The ICE London AGM saw members across the Capital come together to discuss diversity in the profession.
The AGM, which involved the election of new members to the Regional Committee and the appointment of new Chair Lawrie Quinn, was followed by a thought provoking discussion on how the industry can better represent the public it serves.
Anusha Shah, Co-Chair of the London and South East Diversity Taskforce and former Council Member, chaired the discussion and spoke emphatically about the need to welcome the differences a diverse workforce brings.
Tania Heap, Mott MacDonald's Group People Director, talked about how the engineering company is now recognised as one of the best for diversity, but that it took a lot of work to convince some within the company to embrace diversity. Tania spoke about an occasion when a group of employees asked to set up a women's group and how the response from other employees within the company convinced her of the need for change.
Suzanne Moroney, ICE London and South East England Director, discussed her experience as a civil servant before coming to ICE where there was a much greater gender balance. She said that the industry needed to catch up with other sectors if it wanted to be more attractive to women and minority groups.
Roger Bailey Asset Management Director at Tideway was the last panellist to speak. He talked about what Tideway is doing to ensure its workforce is as diverse as possible. The project aims to have 50-50 gender split in its workforce by time of its completion in 2023. Roger mentioned a number of initiatives Tideway were conducting to achieve this goal, including providing back to work schemes for engineers who have stopped working often due to childcare responsibilities. Roger also spoke about the need for diversity in terms of background and talked about Tideway's aim to get more ex-offenders into the workforce.
The discussion provoked some interesting comments from the audience on what civil engineers, companies and the ICE can do.
ICE London and South East England have set up a joint Diversity Taskforce to explore ways of making the industry more inclusive. If you are interested in assisting this initiative, contact Suzanne Moroney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ICE London would like to thank all outgoing Regional Committee chairs for their service over the past year and would like to particularly thank Roland Grzybek, the outgoing Chair, for all his hard work over the past two years.
ICE London would also like to welcome our new members.