‘Being honoured with an MBE was both humbling and motivating’ Dr Mark McBride-Wright talks about Equal Engineers
Dr Mark McBride-Wright is the founder of EqualEngineers. The engineer and ED&I expert works with industry leaders and global organisations to change cultures and help workplaces become more inclusive. He has won awards for his work and earlier this year was awarded an MBE.
Dr McBride-Wright spoke to us about EqualEngineers and the forthcoming series of careers fairs his team is organising in major cities throughout the UK.
Could you tell us about EqualEngineers and why you set it up?
EqualEngineers was founded on the principle of bridging the diversity and inclusion gap within the engineering and technology sectors. Recognising a distinct lack of representation across various demographics, I established EqualEngineers to provide a platform and voice for those often overlooked.
It’s not just about representation but also about ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background, has equal access to opportunities and feels valued in their profession. Our industry thrives when diverse minds come together, and I set up EqualEngineers to catalyse that collaboration.
What sort of businesses and organisations do you work with and why do they value your support?
We collaborate with a broad spectrum of businesses, from tech start-ups to major engineering conglomerates. We also are seeing a growing demand from the education sector with universities too interested in our work. These organisations recognise the intrinsic value of a diverse workforce – how it drives innovation, boosts morale, and fosters global perspectives.
They seek our expertise in devising and implementing diversity and inclusion strategies, training, and mentorship. Our tailored solutions resonate with their objectives, helping them not only meet diversity targets but also create truly inclusive environments.
What are some basic steps employers can do to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
1. Educate and Train: Regularly conduct workshops on unconscious bias and cultural sensitivity.
2. Mentorship Programs: Pairing minority employees with senior staff can foster understanding and growth. The same goes with students with engineers in the industry like we do on our EqualEngineers Pathways Programme
3. Review Hiring Practices: Ensure job descriptions are inclusive and hiring panels are diverse.
4. Create Affinity Groups: Offer spaces where underrepresented groups can connect and share experiences. At EqualEngineers, we have cross-sector groups for LGBTQ+, neurodiversity and menopause.
5. Feedback Channels: Implement mechanisms for employees to share concerns about inclusivity without fear.
You’ve partnered with universities and corporate leaders to build the highly successful EqualEngineers careers fairs. What is the benefit to potential employers getting involved?
Engaging in EqualEngineers careers fairs provides employers with a dual advantage. Firstly, they gain direct access to a talent pool teeming with diverse, passionate, and highly qualified candidates. This enables them to infuse fresh perspectives into their teams.
Secondly, participation underscores their commitment to diversity and inclusion, bolstering their reputation as forward-thinking, inclusive organisations. In a competitive market, this gives them a distinct edge in attracting top talent.
This year we will be visiting Bristol (4th October), Manchester (13th October) Birmingham (18th October), and London (1st November).
Could you tell us about the forthcoming Engineering Talent Awards and why are they important? Is there still an opportunity for people to get involved?
The Engineering Talent Awards are more than just accolades; they’re a testament to the brilliance and potential of diverse talents in engineering. Celebrating achievements from varied backgrounds sends a powerful message about the changing landscape of the sector.
It’s vital for young engineers to see role models they can identify with. Yes, there’s always room for more partners, sponsors, and nominees. We encourage anyone passionate about diversity in engineering to join us. Opportunities for 2023 are still available and we are also open for 2024 enquiries.
You’ve recently been awarded an MBE for your work. What has been your highlight to date and what would you still like to achieve?
Being honoured with an MBE was both humbling and motivating. My standout moment would be the testimonies from individuals who’ve found their place and voice in the industry, thanks to EqualEngineers. Their stories of growth and acceptance continually drive me.
Looking ahead, I aspire to see a genuinely inclusive engineering and tech world, where diversity isn’t an agenda but a natural reflection. And I’m committed to making that vision a reality.