Participating in the Royal Academy of Engineering / Science Council Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarking exercise

How can BINDT help you with diversity and inclusion in engineering? We want to open up the conversation with members about what could work to improve diversity and inclusion in the engineering community. Contact with any questions or suggestions or to join the D&I Advisory Group.

BINDT itself is gearing up to participate in the Royal Academy of Engineering / Science Council Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarking exercise this year along with our fellow professional engineering institutions and science bodies. Areas covered this time are: governance and leadership; membership and professional registration; meetings, conferences and events; education and training, accreditation and examinations (delivered by BINDT); accreditation of education and training (delivered by external providers); prizes, awards and grants; communications and marketing; outreach and engagement; employment; and monitoring and measuring.

It can be seen that the exercise is specially targeted to professional engineering institutes and the topics cover very well the activities that we are engaged in and where we should aim at high standards in diversity and inclusion. The benchmarking enables us to assess how well we are addressing these areas and highlights where we need to do more.

I think we will find that there has been some progress since the last exercise in 2017, because we have initiated work on several aspects, including communications, membership and awards. A very important ongoing area is governance and leadership. We still do not have diverse enough representation of members on our committees. I recognise that this is closely connected to whether members feel engaged with the organisation, so it is a difficult problem to tackle without taking steps to increase engagement across the current membership and beyond. There need to be as many ways as possible for people to get involved with BINDT, and be recognised for their contributions, and hopefully that will feed into better representation in governance.

This leads to some of the work we have been doing on awards. Our awards are important to our Institute and we need to look widely across the BINDT community to find people doing great work to advance and promote techniques, contributing to BINDT’s specialist activities or helping members connect and develop through the Branches. Following some preliminary work on diversity and inclusion in BINDT awards, we found that there is already scope to recognise people who have made a significant contribution, but not necessarily over a very long period of time (which is sometimes thought to be the case). Awards can also recognise ongoing achievements and activity, so people can be nominated who are doing something right now and providing a good example and inspiration. Nominations are open now for 2021, so find the award for the category or sector you care about and nominate someone! As well as taking actions at organisation level, we need to find ways to improve diversity and inclusion in the whole engineering community. To progress this we are exploring what BINDT and other institutes can do to build diversity and inclusion as a professional competence in engineering. We are hoping to hold a webinar on: ‘Promoting Diversity and Inclusion through Professional Standards’ (date to be confirmed). If you have any thoughts on this or would like to contribute then please let me know by email to:

If you want to find out more about the Royal Academy of Engineering / Science Council benchmarking process, the full details can be found on the Science Council website at:

If you have any thoughts or ideas, or are interested in joining the D&I Advisory Group, please get in touch:

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