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Academy wins award for work addressing recruitment of engineering graduates from diverse backgrounds

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  • Royal Academy of Engineering wins the Race Equality Award at Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards

  • One of 12 winners in UK’s most prestigious responsible business awards

  • Announced at a ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Academy of Engineering was named winner of the Race Equality Award at Business in the Community’s 2019 Annual Responsible Business Gala in London last night which was attended by nearly 1000 business leaders and influencers.

The event was the culmination of the 2019 Responsible Business in Action campaign, run by Business in the Community – The Prince’s Responsible Business Network – to celebrate the innovative ways that businesses in the UK and abroad are making a sustained difference and transforming communities.

The Academy’s award-winning approach was singled out for their engineering-wide programme to increase the transition of engineering graduates from diverse backgrounds into engineering employment. Delivered in partnership with engineering employers and SEO London, with support from the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers, the Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme (GEEP) works with engineering undergraduates and recent graduates who are female, from ethnic minority or socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds or attended post-92 universities. Following a successful three-year pilot, GEEP launched as a full-scale programme last year.

Dr Hayaatun Sillem, CEO of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

“The judges were incredibly positive about the Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme, its impact and its future potential. We know that ethnic minority engineers are underrepresented in engineering employment – while more than 25% of first degree qualifiers are from ethnic minority backgrounds, they make up only 8% of the profession.

“This award is testament to the Academy’s diversity and inclusion team who have delivered this programme with excellent support from our Fellows, as well as the employers we work with and the students themselves. It’s really fantastic to see their efforts, and the importance of diversifying engineering, recognised.

“I would also like to acknowledge the role that SEO London has played in the success of the programme and the unfailing support of the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers. The Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme is exactly the kind of activity the Academy should be leading.”

Amanda Mackenzie, chief executive at Business in the Community, said:

“Huge congratulations to the Royal Academy of Engineering on their success in this year’s Responsible Business Awards. They have shown determination and ambition to keep pushing the responsible business agenda through real, tangible action.

“All our award winners understand that the only way to bring about change is to actually do something about it. The Royal Academy of Engineering are putting responsible business practices at the core of their organisation and are helping our mission to make the UK the world leader at responsible business.”

The Business in the Community Responsible Business Awards celebrate the very best in responsible business, and aim to inspire and enlighten the world with the innovative business stories that are at the heart of every community, and to highlight the untold stories of businesses that are driving positive changes in their operations both nationally, and internationally.

A full list of the Responsible Business Awards 2019 winners is available via:


Notes to editor

For more information please contact: Victoria Runcie at the Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. 020 7766 0620; email: [email protected]

Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering and technology, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers from academia and business – our Fellows – to advance and promote excellence in engineering for the benefit of society.

We harness their experience and expertise to provide independent advice to government, to deliver programmes that help exceptional engineering researchers and innovators realise their potential, to engage the public with engineering and to provide leadership for the profession.

We have three strategic priorities:

  • Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation and businesses
  • Address the engineering skills and diversity challenge
  • Position engineering at the heart of society

We bring together engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, educators and the public in pursuit of these goals.

Engineering is a global profession, so we work with partners across the world to advance engineering’s contribution to society on an international, as well as a national scale.

The Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme. The Academy works with engineering employers and SEO London to deliver the Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme. This follows on from the successful three-year pilot project, the Engineering Engagement Programme, which ran from 2015 to 2018 working with AECOM, Amey, Arup, Atkins, BAE Systems, Capita, CH2M, Leonardo, Metaswitch Networks, Network Rail, Renishaw, Rolls-Royce plc, Siemens, and Thales. The programme is designed to support the transition of engineering graduates from diverse backgrounds and groups including female, ethnic minority, socially disadvantaged and from post-92 universities into engineering employment.

The GEEP formally launched at an Academy event on 25 June 2018

Companies currently taking part in the Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme include: AECOM, Atkins, Amey, Arup, BAE Systems, BuroHappold Engineering, ChapmanBDSP, KBR, Leonardo, Metaswitch, Network Rail, Roke, Rolls-Royce, Royal Fleet Auxiliary (Ministry of Defence), Siemens, WSP.

SEO London. We prepare talented students from ethnic minority or low socioeconomic backgrounds for career success. Since its founding in 2000, SEO London’s scale has increased significantly across its three flagship programmes: SEO Careers, SEO Scholars and SEO Connect. SEO London’s Careers Programme is supported by over 70 sponsor firms across eight leading industries and has supported several thousand alumni into undergraduate internships and graduate roles since 2000. SEO Scholars provides hundreds of secondary school students with comprehensive training, mentoring and work experience. SEO Connect links our outstanding alumni professionals with peer networks, mentors and experienced job opportunities around the world.

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community – The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, is the oldest and largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. We were created nearly 40 years ago by HRH The Prince of Wales to champion responsible business.

We inspire, engage and challenge members and we mobilise that collective strength as a force for good in society to:

  • Create a skilled, inclusive workforce today and for the future
  • Build thriving communities in which to live and work
  • Innovate to repair and sustain our planet

Today, we have a vibrant membership of hundreds of businesses, large and small, connected by the conviction that their success is inextricably linked to society’s prosperity.

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