Andrea Hosey and Mark Sutton examine the needs and experiences of IChemE’s bank of volunteers
VOLUNTEERS play a critical role in running IChemE, and without them we would not be able to provide the broad range of qualifications, learned society, member group and other activities such as publications and courses, that we deliver every year. Earlier this year, IChemE commissioned a piece of research to explore the experience and satisfaction of our many volunteers.
This is the first time comprehensive feedback has been sought from the whole complement of more than 3,000 volunteers. This work was in collaboration with a member-led Volunteer Engagement Committee, motivated by a desire to better understand the experiences and needs of our volunteers, with the aim of improving volunteer experience and engagement across the Institution. We want to take this opportunity to thank all volunteers for their vital contribution and to those that participated in the volunteer research and the Volunteer Engagement Committee for the work in getting us to this point.
The research was conducted by Research by Design (RbD), an independent research consultancy. The content of this article is derived from its research findings report of May 2022.
More than half of volunteers were motivated to start volunteering with IChemE by wanting to play an active role in giving back to the industry (56%) and to mentor and develop the next generations of chemical engineers (52%). Volunteers at Associate grade look to combine volunteering with building up their networks and developing their career; for example, 71% cited that they started volunteering for networking opportunities. The research demonstrated that members continue to volunteer for similar reasons as when they started volunteering, ie giving back to the industry and mentoring the next generation.
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