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Engineering diversity and inclusion

Delivering Equality in the STEM Workplace

7 - 8 November 2019 | GoGlasgow Urban Hotel, Glasgow

Continuous Professional Development CPD (logo)


Day one: Thursday 7 November 2019

11:15 - Interactive workshops: Choose one from workshop A, B, C


Developing a clear model for building a D&I strategy at the Board Level

It is well known that companies which embrace Diversity and Inclusion are more successful and profitable.

In addition, when people are searching for jobs, a company’s culture and values are just as important as the job specification and the company’s products.

It is therefore important to have a clear D&I strategy which is driven and embraced at director level.

Key themes covered:

  • What D&I means?
  • What forums should be set up, if any?
  • Who should be involved in these forums?

Key learning points:

  • Why it’s important for a company to have a D&I strategy
  • The benefits to the employees
  • What you can do to encourage D&I in your company


Recognising mental health issues at work and developing solutions to tackle the challenges

A recent report has revealed that women and minorities in tech suffer more stress and discrimination. The BIMA Tech Inclusion and diversity report said that the diverse members working in tech experience higher levels of stress and poor mental health, and face more discrimination in their careers.

A new study concentrating on workers in technology discovered significant levels of discrimination against gender, ethnicity, age and neuro-divergence and written by BIMA, a non-profit representing the digital industry in the UK.

They conducted an online survey with 3,333 workers in the technology sector and found that “self-reported depression levels exceeded five-folds of those reported for the national workers’ average.” Source, IET.

This workshop will focus on both mental illness and mental wellness to mainly inspire the STEM community to have an honest conversation about the challenges each of us face, and how we can equip ourselves with the tools to not simply survive, but to thrive in science and engineering.

Key themes covered:

  • Introduction to physical safety and similarities in culture between positive safety culture and inclusive culture
  • Case studies from role models being open about their mental health issues
  • Introduction to mental health issues
  • Opportunity to engage and feed-in on an industry-wide approach
  • Methods for creating an inclusive culture around mental health

Key learning points:

  • Understand mental health issues and how people can be supported
  • Explore an alternative way of framing and articulating the benefits inclusivity in your business to drive engagement from the majority workforce
  • Be empowered to make change in your organisation to raise awareness of positive mental health and wellbeing


Tackling unconscious bias and challenging micro-aggressions

Bias is central to our understanding of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. However training alone is not a silver bullet – so what more can we do?. This workshop will explore the impact of bias on workplace culture with a particular focus on micro aggressions and how they impact the experience of minority groups.

Participants will have the chance to consider individual and organisational responsibilities in tackling bias and micro aggressions and identify practical next steps for themselves and their organisation.

Key themes covered:

  • Overview of unconscious bias
  • The impact of bias on workplace culture
  • Macro and micro inequalities/aggressions
  • Bystander theory
  • Practical next steps

Key learning points:

  • An understanding the impact of unconscious bias in the engineering sector
  • How micro aggressions can impact the experience of minorities in the workplace
  • Individual and organisational responsibility to transform cultures

Jane McDonald, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Leonardo

Yetunde Adediran, IET, Founder and Computer Scientist, Oxford Alumni, OpenVirtualSTEM

John Blacklock, Design Authority Engineer, Ministry of Defence

Kirstie Farmer, Training and Development Manager, Equate Scotland


15:15 - Interactive workshops: Choose one from workshop D, E, F


Tackling ageism and the generational gap in the STEM workplace

Age discrimination at work - treating someone unfairly because of age - is against the law apart from in very limited circumstances, the Equality Act 2010 which replaced the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 and under law age is one of the protected characteristics (others include sex, race, pregnancy and maternity, and disability).

In this workshop we will explore what ageism means to different people and why all ages can experience it. Why people find it difficult to tackle it and how it can have a lasting negative impact if not address. We will also look at how we bridge the age gap in the working environment through mentoring and reverse mentoring programs.

With the changing in technology, STEM prioritise and laws it is key that policy makers, HR experts, engineers, academics and others are aware of what cause ageism and why is such a big issue that needs to be addressed head on. This workshop will be interactive, informative, insightful but more than anything you will walk away with some great learnings.

Key themes covered:

  • Age is just a number, some people don’t look or act their age – advantages and disadvantages
  • Why removing Generation Bias in the Workplace is important – what are the benefits of having workers aged 16-80years?
  • How the different generations think and why, different working styles, mindsets? How do we bridge the gap?
  • What does ageism feel and look like? The lasting impact.
  • When does ageism start and why experience people in STEM are needed more than ever.

Key learning points:

  • What ageism looks like and how to mitigate it?
  • Why all ages are welcome in STEM?
  • The advantages of having a range of ages in work place.


Introduction to role models as a tool to inspire diversity in engineering

Companies are more likely to perform better if they are gender diverse, and even more likely if also ethnically diverse. So how can the introduction of role models inspire this diversity?

Attendees will be asked to consider what a role model is and their purpose. We will discuss the factors that influence young people’s identification of role models in current society and how

Primary Engineer looks to provide young people with access to a diverse range of role models through their successful Leaders Award Competition.

We will discuss the current problems that the engineering sector faces when it comes to promoting diversity, when for example, around 10% of industry managers are female.

The workshop will ask you to reflect on how you or your organisation can promote diversity through its use of role models and look to develop some strategies that you can take away with you.

Key themes covered:

  • Consideration of what a role model is
  • Issues faced in society that influence identification of role models in young children
  • Case studies of successful use of role models
  • Opportunity to discuss and reflect on current industry practice
  • Models for promoting diversity through the use of role models

Key learning points:

  • An understanding of how important role models are in promoting diversity
  • Reflect on individual and organisational responsibility to promote diversity
  • Develop strategies to implement positive action in your organisation


Creating job adverts in the context of an inclusive recruitment process

Equate Scotland are the national experts in recruiting, retaining and progressing women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

It is estimated that women make up only 25% of Scotland’s STEM sector and around 70% of women with a relevant qualification leave STEM. Not only is this a waste of talent and opportunity but it jeopardises Scotland’s ability to be at the forefront of innovation.

But how can we recruit and retain more women in STEM?

In this workshop Equate Scotland will discuss some of the steps employers can take to attract a diverse talent pool and reach more female candidates through the recruitment process.

Key themes covered:

  • How unconscious bias and language within a job advert can influence the diversity and quality of candidates applying for a position
  • How gendered language can be a barrier to recruiting female candidates
  • How employers can widen the talent pool through inclusive recruitment practices and positive action measures.

Key learning points:

  • Widen your potential talent pool by adopting inclusive recruitment practices
  • Identify unconscious bias and gendered language in job descriptions
  • Implement Positive Action measures in your organisation

Mamta Singhal, Product Design Engineer, Former IET Young Women Engineer of the Year Winner, IET Volunteer

Susan Scurlock, CEO & Founder, Primary Engineer

Graham Stow, Head of Education, Primary Engineer

Paul Sheerin, CEO, Scottish Engineering

Aileen O’Hagan, Industry Recruitment Coordinator, Equate Scotland

Penny Morton, President, FemEng

Day two: Friday 8 November 2019

11:15 - Interactive workshops: Choose one from workshop G, H, I


Developing and sustaining an inclusive talent pipeline in male dominated industries

Women continue to be underrepresented at all stages of the career pipeline within traditionally male occupations such as engineering and the built environment.

Recent developments within the policy and advocacy landscape in Scotland have led to renewed investment and heightened awareness of gender equality issues. However, progress remains glacially slow and the longer-term impact of high profile interventions has yet to be determined.

Key themes covered:

  • Occupational segregation in male dominated sectors
  • Benefits associated with diverse workforce(s)
  • Evidence based interventions
  • Holistic investment in diversity
  • Support for employers.

Key learning points:

  • How to make evidence based decisions relating to equality and diversity initiatives
  • Understanding of how education, society and employment are interrelated and interdependent
  • Understanding of key barriers, challenges and solutions associated with increasing proportional representation of women in male dominated industries.


Creating family-friendly flexibility at the workplace

There are a number of challenges around geography, childcare and flexible working opportunities that employers can be taking more of a lead on.

Failure as an employer to take a holistic approach and to establish a constant ability for your staff to flexibly manage the changing dynamics of childcare and other family commitments will have a negative impact on attitude, availability for work and company growth and continuity.

Key themes covered:

  • How diverse is your workforce and what are the challenges that your team faces?
  • How does your workplace provide solutions to maintain a good effective work home balance?
  • Have you engaged all your workforce in the challenges they face in maintaining rigid traditional working hours?
  • What ongoing conversations do you facilitate to assist in the ongoing reassessment that is required to balance family friendly workplaces?
  • What will you have to create around any family friendly solution to avoid negative impact on your business?

Key learning points:

  • Anyone can create the optimum working flexibility situation
  • Engaged workforces who are provided with these options co-create effective solutions
  • An engaged workforce who have co-created the solution are also able to assess, manage and improve this cultural change with growth.


Equality and Equity in Employment – Getting this right for every Candidate

Equity in a workplace means everyone receives fair treatment. There's a transparency to cause and effect, and everyone knows what to expect in terms of consequences and rewards.

When equity exists, people have equal access to opportunities. It sets up an advantageous environment for both the employees and the employer.

Employees try to keep a balance between how much they give to you (inputs), and what they receive from your business in return (outputs). But, what an employee thinks of their current input-output balance can change day-to-day if they think one of their colleagues currently has a better balance between what they give and what they get back.

An employee’s feeling of unfair treatment doesn’t have to be because of something you have done to them - it can be because of how they compare their current situation to someone in a similar situation to them.

Key themes covered:

  • Introduction to equity theory
  • Understand what equality and equity is and how it can contribute to success
  • Why equity is important in the RAF
  • Case study example

Key learning points:

  • What is equity theory
  • What is equality
  • The importance employment equity?
  • How it works for the RAF?
  • How can it work for you?

Douglas Morrison, Director, Scottish Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange

Wendy Pring, Co-founder & CEO, KCP

Flt Lt F M Padbury, Officer Commanding - Careers Office Inverness & Belfast, Royal Air Force

Sergeant Alan Cameron, Specialist Engagement Team Scotland and Northern Ireland, Royal Air Force


14:00 - Interactive workshops: Choose one from workshop J, K, L


Connecting academia and industries to achieve better D&I outcomes

The session focuses on the personal, cultural and societal factors impacting the progression of graduates into employment in the STEM sector. Workshop participants will gain first hand insight into employer recruitment and selection processes and practices from recent UWS graduates, colleagues supporting student and graduate employability, and industry partners.

The workshop will consider the impact of standardised testing and assessments applied by public and private sector organisations, with an opportunity for attendees to contribute experiences, share successes and highlight barriers to success. The workshop will discuss effective university led initiatives to embed employability into the syllabus and successful industry led partnerships such as DELL’s STEM Aspire Mentoring Programme which connects female STEM students to role-models within DELL with the aim of encouraging and empowering female students, across all STEM subject areas, to enrich their personal and academic achievements and to have successful and rewarding careers.

Colleagues involved with the Mentoring Programme at UWS and DELL will discuss the success of the first two years of the programme and its continuance into future years.

Key themes covered:

  • Feedback from employers in relation to graduate attributes
  • Graduate personal and professional employment barriers
  • The impact of standardised and homogenous recruitment and selection processes
  • The importance of student placements and industry led initiatives for underrepresented groups
  • Effective industry and academia partnerships

Key learning points:

  • How to establish a successful and mutually beneficial industry/academia partnership to enhance diversity and achieve better D&I outcomes
  • The benefits that can be gleaned from early and regular engagement with university and college students throughout the course of their study
  • How to embed an effective D&I focus in your recruitment policies and practices


Tapping into young STEM talent in under-privileged areas

The ASPIRES report from King’s College London, shows that young people aged 10-14 generally have high aspirations for professional, managerial and technical careers. However, only 15% - 25% aspire to a career as a scientist or engineer respectively, despite over 70% agreeing that they learn interesting things in science at school and over 75% believing that scientists make a difference in the world.

This study clearly demonstrates a widespread lack of awareness of where science can lead and what careers are possible. Therefore it is essential for industry to work with schools to show the infinite possibilities offered through a career in STEM and dispel the “not for people like me” response of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas.

This workshop will take a look at the current statistics, barriers, organisations and programmes that are available working in this area. To discuss key issues, ideas and solutions that need to come from industry and higher education to increase engagement throughout schools, to get ahead of societal stereotypes and build and maintain a solid understanding and interest in STEM careers.

Key themes covered:

  • Resourcing from non-traditional backgrounds
  • The importance of role models
  • The value of work experience visits
  • Modern apprenticeship opportunities
  • The negative impacts of stereotypes and bias

Key learning points:

  • STEM engagement ideas
  • Collaboration opportunities
  • Where to find resources


How engineering and technology organisations can become dyslexia/neuro diversity smart

Dyslexia and engineering have a close relationship. Inventors, architects, mechanics and planners often say that they have been successful because of their dyslexia, rather than in spite of it.

Yet this talent is frequently lost to the employers who could harness it best, as business is not always best at recruiting and retaining dyslexic thinkers.

The ‘Value of Dyslexia’, a recent report by Ernst and Young, maps dyslexic strengths against business needs. “Dyslexic strengths align closely with business needs and can become part of the solution.

A greater awareness of these strengths, neuro-diverse abilities and of the skills needed in the future, can help educators facilitate and employers capture untapped talent.” Yet dyslexic people are among the furthest removed from the labour market, inhibited by a glass wall of traditional recruitment processes.

In this workshop you’ll gain insight to what dyslexia really is, its associated strengths and challenges and explore its relationship with the Engineering and Technology sector. Dyslexia Scotland will bring you along an experiential journey designed to give you a feel for being dyslexic, and give you a safe space to explore ways your organisation can make the most of its dyslexia potential.

Key themes covered:

  • What is dyslexia?
  • What is it like to be dyslexic?
  • What’s the relationship between dyslexia and engineering?
  • How can my organisation maximise dyslexic potential? Practical ideas
  • What can we do together to support and celebrate dyslexia?

Key learning points:

  • Increase understanding of dyslexia
  • Learn something new to help support dyslexia at work more effectively
  • Find out about Dyslexia Scotland’s work and opportunities for collaboration

Tom Caira, Senior Lecturer, University of the West of Scotland

Yasmeen Hussain, Education Enhancement Team, University of the West of Scotland

Lorna Watson, Education Services Director, Dell Technologies

Lorna Bennet, Mechanical Design Engineer, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult

Katie Carmichael, Career Coach, Dyslexia Scotland

Jean Tennant, Trainer and Consultant, Dyslexia Scotland 


Programme is correct at time of publication. Topics and speakers are subject to change.


Strategic partners


Day One Pass (7 November)

  • £99

Day Two Pass (8 November)

  • £99

Combined Two Day Pass (7 and 8 November) 10% Discount

  • £178.20