Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Getting specific about equal opportunities

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES policies are often characterised by vague and woolly statements from well-meaning companies and individuals.

A flick through the back pages of NCE shows that employers of civil engineers use a confusing multitude of ways describe their equal opportunities policies (see box at top of page).

Whatever they say, it is hard to know whether policies have any effect unless their impact on individuals and the industry as a whole can be measured.

This is where ICE FLOE comes in. It will measure the numbers of women, disabled people and people from ethnic minorities within the ICE membership, publishing the figures annually.

In doing so it can tell whether the industry is truly embracing equal opportunuties or whether well meaning initiatives and recruitment policies are just hot air.

Any decision an employer takes must have a strong business case behind it. Clearly they will put logos, banners and testimonials referring to various aspects of equal opportunities policy on their job ads because they want to attract a full range of applicants. But the fact remains that women and minority groups are still under represented in civil engineering.

While these employers put out a lot of well meaning rhetoric, the only true test of a company's attitude towards equal opportunities is specific action and evidence. Having a strategy or set of policies is only as good as the use employees actually gets from it.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.