In August 2020, an article written by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Trustee Champion, Macsene Isles-Ahite opened the discussion about the importance of creating an equal, diverse and inclusive IChemE (p20, issue 951) and outlined several objectives. These included the need to collect more data to establish a baseline. This will help us better understand the profile of the membership and to ensure that IChemE’s processes are equal, diverse and inclusive.
ED&I is a sensitive topic, but it is also widely accepted that an equal, diverse and inclusive culture brings many benefits. For all organisations, there is a business case, an ethical case and a legal case for embracing ED&I. Therefore, IChemE is developing an ED&I programme of work that aligns with Strategy 2024 and aims to:
1. Identify and remove systematic barriers to entry into and advancement within the Institution and across education and industry.
2. Promote and realise the benefits of a diverse and inclusive technical community drawn from global expertise, with the ability to share knowledge that informs decision-making where we have influence.
3. Promote an inclusive Institution that promotes and encourages diverse participation from its membership wherever they reside and whatever their background.
4. Establish and develop partnerships to collaborate and share data that will assist us in progressing IChemE’s ED&I agenda across all its activities (such as but not limited to):
At IChemE, focussed activity with some under-represented groups could help widen participation and entry into the profession, progress their careers and professional registration and thereby ensure that they stay in the profession.
For IChemE to realise the benefits of an ED&I culture, our decisions must be data-led. The data that is currently available is relatively limited so we would like to build on this, possibly during the subscription renewal process by asking members to provide some further information. Any additional data gathered will then act as a baseline which will help us to identify any issues around inclusivity and help us to prioritise our ED&I plans.
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