Black in Engineering – Redressing the balance of ethnic minority students in Industry

Thu 26 October 2017

Engineering has a conversion problem. Why is only 7% of the workforce from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds, yet around 23% of UK engineering students are from a BME background? Research from the Royal Academy of Engineering [1] shows stark differences in employment outcomes between engineering graduates of white and minority ethnic origin. There was a 20 percentage point difference between the proportion of white engineering graduates entering full-time employment (71%) and their black and minority ethnic (BME) counterparts (51%) after 6 months.

There is evidence to suggest that students from BME backgrounds may not always have as much social capital to draw on as their white counterparts. Also, current student recruitment is often targeted at universities with lower proportions of BME students.

You are invited to join EqualEngineers, in partnership with UCL, to explore some questions around barriers within education attainment and barriers at the transition from education to employment. A panel of leading experts in engineering education, industry and diversity and inclusion advocacy will share their thoughts and opinions on the barriers facing students. Audience participation will be sought for sharing ideas and insights into possible solutions people can do at both the individual and organisational levels to help redress the balance.

[1] “Employment outcomes of engineering graduates: key factors and diversity characteristics”, Royal Academy of Engineering, November 2016


  • Dr Mark McBride-Wright CEng MIChemE, Founder & Managing Director of EqualEngineers
  • Dr Michael Sulu, Research Associate, Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, UCL
  • Dr Nike Folayan, Chair of the Association for Black & Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK)
  • Vivienne Aiyela CIPD, Senior Diversity & Inclusion Consultant


6:00pm Guests arrive and network.

6:30pm Panel discussion starts

7:15pm Q&A / Audience input for solutions

7:45pm Networking till close

8:30pm Event close

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