ICE: Civil engineering industry must do better at eliminating racism - International Burch University
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ICE: Civil engineering industry must do better at eliminating racism

African american girl standing indoors and looking at the camera. She's showing an message that says Stop Racism on her hands.

The civil engineering industry can, and must, do better at recognising and eliminating racism at all levels, a recent ICE survey concludes.

The membership-wide survey, led by ICE’s Fairness, Inclusion and Respect Committee, asked respondents a series of questions about their experience of racism across the sector, with 81% of black and minority ethnic members saying they had experienced a degree of racism in the workplace.

In response, the ICE has released a new Anti-Racism Toolkit for employers.

The toolkit is aimed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which were identified in the survey as not always having the same level of resource to tackle the issue as larger corporates.

The online toolkit, produced in association with the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE), offers advice on how to make tangible changes in helping improve the working lives of Black and minority ethnic engineers.

It offers suggestions on establishing an equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) baseline for the company, on how to talk about race and how to be an ally in the workplace; it also provides practical advice on recruitment and mentoring of black and minority ethnic engineers.

Chair of ICE’s Fairness, Inclusion and Respect Committee Kate Cairns said: “We need to understand the scale and depth of the issue, so with our survey asked, we listened, and acknowledged the experiences of our UK members. The results of the survey are stark.

“The prevalence of racism within our industry is clear. Ignoring behaviour which impacts lives so acutely and so profoundly is no longer acceptable.

“ICE is committed to leading change within our industry, and at the same time tackling issues within our own organisation.”

She added: “Drawing on evidence from the FIR Survey on Racism, the toolkit aims to drive positive change in behaviours across the workforce so that employers can really make a difference to the culture within their business.

“This is a first step in helping all organisations make the lives of their black and minority ethnic employees better. We will continue to listen, to learn and to assist our industry and support our members.”

ARBE-UK corporate partnerships lead Mara-Tafadzwa Makoni added: “Meaningful and sustained systemic change to tackle racism and inequality in society is long overdue.

“AFBE-UK is delighted to have worked with ICE in delivering a toolkit which will create, support and sustain the much-needed dialogue about racism within the sector, professional workplace and unite the sector in taking actions to actively advance racial justice.”

The survey also prompted a review and update of ICE’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

The plan allows for better assessment, monitoring and measurement of progress against a range of key point indicators including publication of data on ICE membership demographics, collecting metrics on panel and committee composition, and analysing attrition rates from the membership pipeline.

To access the toolkit click here.


Department of Civil Engineering