EqualEngineers is launching its first survey investigating masculinity in engineering in time for World Mental Health Day (10 October 2018), a first-of-its-kind for the sector. The survey will be open for 5 weeks, closing on 16 November 2018.
Engineering and technology in the UK is a predominately male profession, with men comprising over 89% of the workforce. Many diversity efforts pivot on getting more women into engineering.
This survey will explore if the culture of engineering is affected by the stereotype of what an engineer looks like, and how men are expected to behave. Do men feel included or excluded in the push to increase diversity? Could a more diverse profession benefit both women and men?
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50, with male construction workers 3.7 times more likely to take their own life. Are men able to be open about their mental health challenges, or is the stigmatisation too great? Does this manifest itself as a macho culture in the workplace or on-site which prevents an inclusive culture?
This survey would like to know your views and opinions - the real ones, not the ones that you feel that you should express. We expect respondents to give us their real answers, not just the "right" answers.
The survey is the brainchild of Dr Mark McBride-Wright, Managing Director of EqualEngineers, who set the company up after years of working in the sector and seeing not only the challenges that the lack of diversity can bring, but also the risks posed to health, safety and wellbeing. Being a gay safety engineer himself and setting up networking group InterEngineering for LGBT+ engineers gave him the drive to set up an organisation covering all aspects of diversity.
“For me, inclusivity in the workplace is a health and safety issue. Not being able to be open about who you are, because of attitudes and lack of diversity around you can lead to mental health issues and decreased wellbeing. In construction, for example, an industry where suicide rates among men are more than three times the national average, more needs to be done to ensure that commitment to these issues goes much further than token inclusion policies.
My hopes for this survey is to capture the voice of men in the engineering and tech industries, individuals who perhaps feel excluded from the focus on diversity and inclusion efforts of organisations. We need to rapidly overhaul the way in which we approach culture change programmes within our industry, and we need to ensure everyone feels included, and is able to find their voice as part of the diversity narrative.”
Ian Childs, Executive Manager, Morson International says:
“As the UK’s No.1 Technical Recruiter, Morson engages with a huge engineering community. Our business has taken great strides to improve the diversity of our contractor population, doubling the number of female engineers we employ. Now it’s time to look deeper and assess how these cultural changes affect the workforce as a whole. The stigma around mental health keeps too many people silent. Safety is paramount in many of the sectors that we operate in and whilst employers take great strides in protecting their people from physical harm, the same effort is now needed to address mental ill health. We are pleased to be supporting EqualEngineers in this study.”
Initial results from the EqualEngineers Masculinity in Engineering Survey will be reported on International Men’s Day on 19th November.
For more information, visit http://bit.ly/EEMasculinitySurvey.
To take survey directly, visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EqEngMasculinitySurvey.