Speaking as one of the 'George Street 5' I believe that some of the recent correspondents have missed the point of ICEFLOE.
If we look at our colleagues and the people we deal with on a regular basis, can we truly say that the membership of ICE is representative of the society it serves?
We need to attract the best talents, and to do that we have to demonstrate we are not biased in favour of the white, middle class male. We must ensure that there are role models to aspire to and relate to. Once we have attracted them, we need to retain them.
If your colleague is good at their job, does it matter whether they are a different gender to you, a different ethnic origin, a different sexual orientation to you, or if they have a disability? It shouldn't, but it probably does.
I am a white, middle class male who, thanks to bouncing off the front of a lorry on site, has a disability. However, I would like to think that my mind still works.
The problems I have encountered arise principally from other people's perception of what being in a wheelchair means. I am judged on what they think I cannot do, rather than what I know I can do.
I have a job that takes me all over the country, meeting people and dealing with issues as an engineer, and being fairly successful at it. It has been hard work getting here, but for me at least, worth it.
ICEFLOE is not about quotas, but about challenging the way we think, and about the way we perceive people. Credit them for what they do, do not hinder them because your first impression creates a bias in your mind.
Hopefully, through ICEFLOE, our profession will become truly representative of the society it serves.
Mark Broadhurst, email@example.com