FRIDAY WEBINAR: Looking at why women, ethnic minorities and others are leaving engineering

A keenly anticipated webinar on 11 March 2022 on career deflection is set to address the reasons why women, ethnic minorities and other underrepresented groups are leaving the engineering profession prematurely.

Stereotyping, isolation and bias result in women leaving the profession at twice the rate of men (70% v 35%), while more than half (55%) of ethnic minorities abandon their career in contrast to (39%) of white people.

Working in collaboration with Atkins, Infrastructure Intelligence is hosting the webinar to explore diversity, progression and retention in engineering, examine the concept of career deflection and what can be done to address it. With a diverse panel drawn from industry organisations like Tarmac, Arcadis, Faithful + Gould, Atkins, Black Professionals in Construction and supported by the Institute of Employment Studies, the webinar is sure to get to the nub of the issue.

A report, published last year by Atkins, highlighted the impact of career deflection on the earning potential and progress of women, ethnic minorities and disabled employees within engineering occupations. Career Deflection: Exploring Diversity, Progression and Retention in Engineering, was based on new analysis of labour market information sources with the help of the Institute of Employment Studies and looked at how the impact of barriers to progress within a career in engineering are being distorted. 

The report asserted that if current trends continue it could take until 2124 before there is the same number of women as men working in engineering occupations and it could take 50 years for the proportion of ethnic minorities in engineering occupations to reach the overall proportion of ethnic minorities in employment. Clearly the industry has a problem that needs to be addressed.

The Atkins’ report’s recommendations to improve the situation around career deflection include better policies to tackle alternative working patterns, equal access to development opportunities, increased promotion of an inclusive workplace culture, new measures to address unconscious bias and more widespread use of appropriate data, metrics and feedback.

Huge efforts are being made in the industry to tackle diversity of recruitment and eliminate career deflections but still more needs to be done. This webinar will look at how the construction sector can work together to accelerate the progress that has been made in this area over recent years and to deliver real and lasting change. 

All those with an interest in creating a more diverse and representative construction and infrastructure industry should sign up to attend this webinar, which is organised in association with Atkins.

Career deflection – exploring diversity, progression and retention in engineering 
Friday 11 March at 11am

Andy Walker, Editor, Infrastructure Intelligence

Dara Jafari, Regional Director, Faithful + Gould
Lara Potter, Director, Workforce for the Future at Arcadis and Chair of Future Skills Group at ACE
Emma Pollard, Principal Research Fellow, Institute of Employment Studies
Louise Houston, Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Tarmac
Amos Simbo, Director, Winway Consultants and Founder of Black Professionals in Construction
Longning Qi, Principal Masterplanner, Atkins

Click here to book your free place at the Career deflection webinar

This webinar is brought to you in association with Atkins

If you would like to contact Andy Walker about this, or any other story, please email