ICE and industry leaders call for efforts to tackle diversity failings in new series of films

A series of short monologues by people from across the civil engineering spectrum has been launched by ICE, aiming to highlight the need for industry to change its culture and outlook when it comes to diversity.

The film’s contributors talk about the barriers that women face in the engineering world.
The film’s contributors talk about the barriers that women face in the engineering world.

ICE Talks features a range of people from across the civil engineering industry from experienced industry leaders to the next generation of engineers sharing their thoughts on these issues and on how invisible barriers could affect careers in engineering and construction.

While female applications to ICE are slowly rising, with graduate numbers at 18%, women still only represent 10% of ICE's total membership, a figure which is consistent across the wider engineering community.

Amongst the contributors are a number of ICE members and prominent industry leaders, including Michèle Dix, Managing Director, Crossrail 2 and Rachel Skinner, a Director at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff. The contributors talk about the barriers that women face in entering and succeeding in the engineering world, and give their views on what is stopping them.

They also discuss the need to make engineering careers more visible and generating more flexible, inclusive work practices that cater to the busy lives of all employees. Showcasing more women engineers for young people to aspire to is also called for – not just women who have reached the top of the career ladder but those who have managed to achieve that and have a family.

Miranda Housden, ICE South West Director who produced the films, said:

"Any organisation or profession will be stronger if it can draw from a wealth of different backgrounds and experiences, and will better serve its clients and society if it reflects the diversity of our communities.

"But we can only tap into this wider pool by making ourselves more inclusive and attractive, and making this happen is a challenge for the whole industry. We can start with an open, candid discussion about what is holding us back and the steps that can be taken - in both a practical and cultural sense - to enable a shift. We hope this film, and the leading inspirational figures who feature in it and want to deliver change, really kick starts this debate."

The series follows positive feedback on ICE's Engineering Change film, also available to view on the ICE Talks page, which was released last month and further films will be added throughout the year on this and other important industry topics.

You can get involved in the debate on Twitter using hashtag #engineeringchange.