Kelly Blackwell (Letters last week) admonishes me for being politically correct and suggesting that the Institution focuses too heavily on female recruitment.
My remarks were in response to a question raised at the graduates and students event in Manchester as to whether the Institution was doing enough to utilise/promote diversity, in particular the skills women had to offer.
I referred to a comment made earlier in the day to students about the need for young engineers to put their heads above the parapet and noted that women engineers, in entering a male-dominated profession, had already taken a first step in that direction.
The Institution promotes the profession of civil engineering to schools without focusing on either boys or girls. For example, our game Flushed Away, based on the animated film, is non-gender specific and encourages primary school children to think about engineering problems in a fun way. I wholly agree with Kelly that all interested students should be encouraged to become competent engineers.
Quentin Leiper, president, Institution of Civil Engineers, 1 Great George Street, London SW1P 3AA