Be my Guest… Mark McBride-Wright, EqualEngineers

Be my Guest… Mark McBride-Wright, EqualEngineers - image

Be my Guest… Mark McBride-Wright, EqualEngineers

As part of LEEA’s YouTube series called ‘Be my Guest…’ Jenny Eagle, reporter, catches up with Mark McBride-Wright, founder, EqualEngineers, to talk about diversity in the workplace ahead of Gay Pride in London on July 1.

EqualEngineers was founded by Mark McBride-Wright six years ago, connecting employers with a diverse talent pool in engineering and technology. He believes the sector lacks diversity and inclusion of under-represented groups, ‘which is proven to increase performance, growth and innovation, as well as improve health, safety and wellbeing’.

Thanks to its success McBride-Wright is proud to be receiving an MBE from King Charles for his services to diversity, equity and inclusion and engineering this month.

In celebration of Gay Pride in London on July 1, LEEA catches up with the founder, who started his career in chartered chemical engineering, specialising in Health & Safety and who is also the founder of InterEngineering, set up in 2014, the UK's largest cross sector network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning Engineers.

After setting up InterEngineering, which has regional networks around the UK, McBride-Wright saw it was ‘driving a very narrow conversation’ and wasn’t leading to much needed conversations on how to support same sex couples in the workplace, how to support trans engineers when they want to transition in the workplace.

“Topics that even in the last year have become even more polarised since InterEngineering was founded. So, six years ago, I saw a need to broaden out and create a brand that would focus on each strand of diversity in engineering and that's how EqualEngineers came about,” he said.

“Since setting it up, we run careers fairs, conferences, the Engineering Talent Awards, and we started a recruitment service this year, as well as training and consulting.

“I deliberately called the organisation EqualEngineers because there's no point in attracting   the culture of tomorrow if we're not going to retain the talent that we have now. Engineering actually has one of the highest attrition rates of any sector. So, we do a lot of work in helping engineering businesses, trying something different on diversity, equity and inclusion.”

EqualEngineers works with over 150 engineering organisations and organises several career fairs a year, with the next one in Bristol on October 4. It also runs a Pathways student development programme, sponsored by the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Rolls-Royce, Network Rail, McLaren Racing, Airbus, and SSE energy supplier.

“We're starting to challenge the biases that certain generations hold about one another, because we're going to have an intergenerational workforce that will deliver Net Zero in the next 20 to 30 years. We're focused on Generation Edge right now. But my son and daughter are Generation Alpha and they are going to be around in the workplace in 2040 and we need to think that far ahead in what we’re doing now.

“I'm looking forward to scaling up in the years to come. I feel like we're just scratching the surface and we’re excited to see where we go. We've got plans to create other cross sector network groups to complement InterEngineering including neurodiversity, disability and menopause, bringing together women who are further on in their career in engineering.”

Click here to watch the video on LEEA’s YouTube channel.

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