Exciting new Pathways Programme for underrepresented groups in engineering

16 June 2021

Interviews with Mark and exclusive thought pieces available for publication – contact Mark on mark@equalengineers.com or 07877089036

EqualEngineers Pathways Programme


Challenges with diversity and inclusion within the engineering and technology sector are not just being faced by those working in the industry, but are prominent among engineering students who are part of underrepresented groups with protected characteristics. Students from diverse backgrounds face additional challenges in securing graduate employment in engineering.

Statistics around student diversity in engineering paints a stark picture about the employment opportunities available to underrepresented groups.

  • Six months after graduation only 39% of students from ethnic minority backgrounds, who are in employment, are working in engineering roles, compared to 57% of their white counterparts. (Higher Education Statistics Agency)
  • 34.7% of female graduates of engineering and technology degrees are not employed within the industry after 6 months, in comparison to 28.5% of graduates. (2018, State of Engineering, EngineeringUK)
  • Only 12.4% of all engineers in the UK are women, in comparison to 46.9% of the UK workforce comprising of women. (2018, State of Engineering, EngineeringUK)
  • LGBT+ students are more likely to stop studying STEM degrees than straight students. (Bryce E. Hughes)
  • 14.5% of all UK students have a known disability (Higher Education Statistics Agency), and it is unknown what the reported statistic for the statistics in industry due to a lack of wider data collection.

To make a significant impact on the diversity of the engineering workforce, better support needs to be made available to engineering students in securing employment over a longer period during their studies.

EqualEngineers are launching their exciting new solution, the EqualEngineers Pathways Programme. The purpose of this programme is to provide students with a variety of supportive elements to ensure greater employability outcomes after graduation, and to improve their sense of inclusion and belonging within the engineering and technology industry.

The Pathways Programme will run alongside the academic year, providing students access to:

  • In-person careers insights and employability workshop sessions.
  • Virtual training on work readiness and interpersonal skills development.
  • A mentoring programme that will pair-up students with engineers from industry, to improve their understanding of employment and provide support to their concerns.
  • Opportunities for work experience, placement, internship and graduate roles.

Organisations that are taking part in the programme are looking to support the necessity to improve the employability opportunities of students from diverse backgrounds, and are striving to impact their own organisation’s inclusive culture. The EqualEngineers Pathways Programme is launching with three initial partner organisations comprising:

  • McLaren Racing
  • Rolls-Royce
  • First Bus

Mark McBride-Wright, Founder & Managing Director, EqualEngineers:

“Students from underrepresented backgrounds are facing barriers to getting the employment they seek once they graduate. Statistics show that there is a problem in the engineering and technology industry and we at EqualEngineers are seeking to form part of the solution for this.

Our Pathways Programme will be an opportunity for students to gain invaluable learning and experiences that can support them when they begin to seek graduate employment. The delivery of training and workshops will cover knowledge and skills that may be missing from their university education, or support from careers teams. Implementing a mentoring programme will introduce these students to actual engineers working within their industry, giving direct one-to-one contact for queries, concerns and support.

We are delighted to be welcoming our employer partners of the Pathways Programme. McLaren Racing, Rolls-Royce and First Bus are determined to support us in creating a more inclusive employability environment for diverse students.”

McLaren Racing Chief People Officer, Daniel Gallo:

“McLaren Racing is delighted to be a founding partner in the EqualEngineers Pathways Programme. Our industry and sport needs to significantly improve in diversity and inclusion of under-represented groups, so by supporting this programme, we aim to showcase Formula 1 and the engineering industry as an accessible vocation for all, no matter background, gender or race.

“This partnership not only reinforces our commitment to STEM as a core driver of DE&I, but will help to promote the breadth of opportunities in racing, and inspire future generations of talent by fuelling their passion for engineering and F1.”

Ellie Long, Early Careers Business Partner from Rolls-Royce:

“We’re proud to be a founding partner of the new EqualEngineers Pathways Programme. We’ve supported EqualEngineers since 2017 as a headline sponsor of their inaugural student event. The impact of Covid-19 on students and young people has been profound, and particularly affected the opportunities of those disadvantaged backgrounds and under-represented groups. As we actively work to increase the diversity of our teams and take deliberate actions to increase the representation of different groups in our workforce, The Pathways Programme will help us build deeper relationships with these students and will help us attract the diverse engineering talent we need for the future.”

Ian Warr, Director of Engineering, First Bus:

“We are delighted that First Bus is a founding sponsor of EqualEngineers’ Pathways Programme. Our teams, like the wonderfully diverse communities and customers that we serve, thrive when there's a rich mix of backgrounds, experiences and skills. By supporting EqualEngineers, we can help to ensure that students from underrepresented backgrounds have a greater chance of finding rewarding employment once they graduate; increasing vital diversity within the engineering workforce of tomorrow.”


Notes to Editors

About EqualEngineers

EqualEngineers was set up to make the Engineering & Technology sectors more diverse and inclusive. The sectors lack in diversity and inclusion of underrepresented groups, which is proven to increase performance, growth and innovation, as well as improve health, safety and wellbeing. EqualEngineers provides a solution to this through training, consultancy, recruitment, and events. EqualEngineers founded the Engineering Talent Awards, the Equality in Engineering Conference, and the EqualEngineers Careers Fair series. Key research themes include Masculinity in Engineering which informed the Creating Inclusive Cultures signature training offering which has been delivered to thousands of engineers since 2019.

About Dr Mark McBride-Wright CEng MIChemE

Mark McBride-Wright, PhD, CEng, IChemE is a recognised diversity and inclusion leader. He is Founder and Managing Director of EqualEngineers, a company focused on connecting inclusive employers with diverse talent in the engineering and technology sectors and offering a wide array of diversity and inclusion consultancy services alongside annual careers fairs, networking events and the Engineering Talent Awards. Mark has lead the landmark research into Masculinity in Engineering. He is also Chair and Co-Founder of InterEngineering, a non-profit industry body that connects, informs and empowers LGBT+ engineers and supporters with a membership of over 1,000 engineers across 6 regional groups across the UK. Mark is an Advisory Member to the Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

In recognition of his diversity work, Mark won the coveted 'Corporate Rising Star' award at the 2016 British LGBT Awards and was ranked #2 in the 2015 Financial Times Future LGBT Leaders list (#6 in 2016).

About McLaren Racing:

McLaren Racing was founded by New Zealand racing driver Bruce McLaren in 1963. The team entered its first Formula 1 race in 1966, since then McLaren has won 20 Formula 1 world championships, more than 180 Formula 1 grands prix, the Le Mans 24 Hours at its first attempt and the Indianapolis 500 three times. McLaren Racing currently competes in Formula 1 globally and INDYCAR in the US.

The team is contesting the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, and in the 2021 INDYCAR Series with Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist. In 2022, McLaren Racing will enter a new category of motorsport when it enters a team into Extreme E, the innovative all-electric off-road racing series.

About First Bus

First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators and the partner of choice for innovative and sustainable transport. We’re committed to diversifying our talent, and we want to make engineering more accessible. We’re investing in an exciting and rewarding apprenticeship programme to support these aims.

First Bus is firmly committed to making a positive impact on air quality, tackling carbon emissions and improving customer experience. Leading the transition to a low-carbon future, we operate a fleet that includes electric, hydrogen and biogas buses – and we’ve committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035, and will not be purchasing any new diesel buses after December 2022. We need great people from all backgrounds to support us on our journey!

About Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce pioneers the power that matters to connect, power and protect society. We have pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in our operations by 2030 [excluding product testing] and joined the UN Race to Zero campaign in 2020, affirming our ambition to play a fundamental role in enabling the sectors in which we operate achieve net zero carbon by 2050.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems is headquartered in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany and employs around 9,000 people. The product portfolio includes mtu-brand high-speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, power generation, heavy land, rail and defence vehicles and for the oil and gas industry as well as diesel and gas systems and battery containers for mission critical, standby and continuous power, combined generation of heat and power, and microgrids.

Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces and navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.

Annual underlying revenue was £11.76 billion in 2020 and we invested £1.25 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of EqualEngineers, on Wednesday 16 June, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/

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