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Engineering organisations commit to tackling gender inequality

29 April 2010

Three of the UK’s most influential engineering organisations have made the commitment to tackle gender inequality by signing up to the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology’s (UKRC), CEO Charter.

Amey and AECOM, along with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), have each signed up to the Charter which was introduced by the UKRC as a visible commitment by organisations to increase the participation and progression of women in education and the workplace. 
In signing the Charter, these leading organisations have made a commitment to ensure that they will actively support the aim of increasing the participation, at all levels, of women involved in science, engineering and technology (SET), as well as developing and communicating the business case for gender equality internally. 

The organisations have also committed to the promotion of women working within SET by developing clearly defined strategies and implementing practices which encourage prospective women employees to enter, progress in, or return to SET careers.

Annette Williams, Director of the UKRC, commented: "It is a positive step forward to see this commitment to gender equality from the IET and two leading commercial organisations in the sector.  It lays out expectations and the ambitions of  company to all staff, and sets a clear example to other companies and institutions that positive steps can be implemented to support female colleagues and help them progress within their organisations.”

Nigel Fine, Chief Executive, IET, feels signing the Charter is an important step for the IET: "I've committed to re-signing the UKRC’s CEO Charter as the IET is there for its entire membership and we want to help overcome the under-representation of women.  Currently, 70% of women qualified in the ‘STEM’ subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) work outside of this field.  With the male workforce, the figure is much lower at 45% of those qualified.  This is a huge disparity that IET wants to address by ensuring female IET members get the support they need.

“The UKRC has been a great support by helping us benchmark IET's work in this area and suggest further developments."

Valerie Hughes D’Aeth, HR Director at Amey, adds: “Amey is committed to nurturing the most promising candidates in engineering, regardless of their gender. We are proud to demonstrate this commitment by supporting the UKRC CEO Charter.

“As a leading public services provider, we now have more than 300 women working in engineering roles on a wide range of multi-million pound projects.”

Bill Hanway, Executive Director of Operations at AECOM, concludes: “It is an honour to sign the CEO charter in support of the UKRC. At AECOM, we are fully committed to utilising our multi-disciplinary design and engineering practice as a platform for increasing participation of women in the profession.”

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