The ICE has published a second version of its Anti-Racism Toolkit demonstrating its ongoing commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
The toolkit aims to help organisations with training and development materials as well as practical steps and guidance, enabling them to be better allies to Black and minority ethnic people working in the industry.
Dr Anusha Shah, ICE Vice President, said: "I really hope that organisations will find this toolkit useful: whether as a learning resource to become a better ally to Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues, or as a source of inspiration for action towards creating fair, respectful and inclusive workplaces.”
“The case studies and ideas it contains are practical and can be implemented right now," she added.
Why was the toolkit created?
The initial version was launched in 2021 following a 2020 survey led by the ICE’s Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Committee, chaired by Kate Cairns, which asked members a series of questions about their experiences of racism across the sector.
The survey found, among other things, that 81% of Black and minority ethnic members had experienced a degree of racism in the workplace. It also suggested a gender and generational gap, with women and younger engineers being more aware of racism.
The survey also found that minority ethnic engineers were six times more likely to be furloughed than white engineers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Penny Gilg, vice chair of the ICE Fairness, Inclusion and Respect Committee, said: "A year on from undertaking a survey on racism there isn't a week goes by where I don't tell someone the key findings and see their faces drop.”
Gilg pointed out that while some tools like unconscious bias training may have become very common, they shouldn't be ‘tick-box exercises’ that are completed once a year and then forgotten.
She said that systemic problems in the industry remain, and they create unseen barriers and unintended consequences that mean that it’s easier for some people to progress in the industry than others.
“That is why we must continue to be aware of and learn about these barriers,” she said.
The original toolkit, which was developed with the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AfBE-UK), accompanied an updated Fairness, Inclusion and Respect Action Plan.
Gilg said: “We've updated our toolkit based on feedback and new insights, and we will continue to do so. Please use it, share it, and tell us how we can improve it further. We'd also love to hear how you have benefited from using it."
What is in the Anti-Racism Toolkit Version 2?
The toolkit offers practical advice, particularly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which, the survey identified, don’t always have the same level of resources as larger corporations to help them tackle the issues.
It includes advice on how to deal with racism, such as how to make an action plan and develop company policy.
It explains how to be an ally and an active bystander as well as how to deal with aggressions and micro-aggressions, and how to talk about race with members of staff.
The toolkit also features industry case studies of corporations that have launched initiatives to develop and improve EDI.
These initiatives include reverse mentoring schemes, ethnicity pay gap reporting and employee networks.
A glossary is also available.
The updated toolkit follows a memorandum of understanding that the ICE signed with five built environment organisations earlier this year. This led to a 45-point action plan to jointly improve EDI
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