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How Diversity Enriches Engineering Projects and The Technical Sector

There is no denying that diversity enriches any working environment, and this includes the engineering and technology sector. With a diverse workforce, a wider range of ideas, opinions, and insights can be gathered and utilised. This leads to innovation and increased project success. However, according to the Royal Academy of Engineering, the UK has one of the lowest percentages of female engineers in Europe, at just 8%. The Women’s Engineering Society suggests that women account for approximately 20% of employees in the UK engineering sector (incl. engineers), illustrating significantly fewer women than men in the industry. This indicates that engineering projects could be missing top talent, simply because diversity is not being fully embraced.

Diversity is all about bringing more perspectives to a traditionally homogeneous and often non-inclusive industry. Diversity is always important, but even more so during Pride Month. Many suggest that Gen Z are more likely to identify as being part of the LGBTQ+ community. It is therefore critical that the engineering sector provides an inclusive, welcoming, and supportive working environment. 

Organisations need to continually develop their culture which starts with strong leadership interwoven with business strategy. Culture is built on a strong mission, guided by an authentic vision, and reinforced by a system of values, including diversity that unites employees around a shared and common purpose. 

The most diverse engineering and tech companies tend to have higher retention rates, great returns of shareholder value, lower employee turnover, and greater customer satisfaction because people are more comfortable and confident in their roles.

How to Enhance Engineering Innovation and Projects with a Diverse Team

  • Embrace Creativity and Innovation - One of the key advantages of diversity in engineering and technology is the multitude of perspectives it brings to the table. They understand their customers better. Consumers today have higher expectations of products and services that meet their specific, and diverse, needs and preferences. When a team comprises individuals from different cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds, a broader range of ideas and solutions emerges. To grow and develop, the engineering industry must embrace different viewpoints and creative ideas, often rooted in the variety of personal experiences and challenges faced by people.
  • Enjoy Effective Problem Solving - There are a lot of hurdles and challenges to overcome in any engineering project, but diversity can help ensure problems are solved rapidly, reducing the chances of delays and increasing costs. A diverse workforce can bring their experiences, ideas, and abilities together, and learn from each other. Furthermore, diverse teams often possess a higher level of cognitive flexibility, which allows them to adapt to changing circumstances and approach problems from different angles. 
  • Improve Employee Engagement and Productivity - Diversity can boost employee engagement and performance in a big way, as diverse teams tend to feel more motivated. This leads to increased productivity, better retention rates and a dependable workforce, which benefits employees, employers and customers alike. Due to a tightening labour market, employees have greater options and studies have shown that employees are switching engineering jobs to accommodate diversity in lifestyles.
  • Better Understanding of User Needs - Engineering businesses aim to create products, systems, or solutions that meet the needs of end-users. By incorporating diversity into the new product development process (npd), engineering teams can better understand the diverse range of user needs and design products which cater to a wider audience. For example, if a team lacks diversity, it may inadvertently overlook the needs and preferences of specific demographic groups. Women often report they feel majorly underserved by engineering and technology products. By including individuals from a broader demographic, engineers can gain insights that help create inclusive designs and solutions which meet the requirements of a diverse user base. This not only increases the market potential but also ensures the final outcomes are accessible and beneficial to a wider range of people.
  • Use Diverse Supply Chain Suppliers and Contractors – The ever-growing emphasis on sustainability and resilience within the supply chain means more businesses are investing in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives as part of their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Consumers who perceive a brand as being committed to DEI are three times more likely to consider their products or services, compared to those who do not. In today's interconnected world, technology and engineering projects often have global implications. Embracing diversity enables teams to navigate and understand different markets, geographical regions, cultures, and regulations effectively. Companies who value diversity are better equipped to develop products and services that resonate with diverse global markets. According to EY, diverse suppliers – companies owned by people from historically underrepresented groups – can help cut costs, drive innovation, and broaden the traditional footprint of a supply chain. That helps to mitigate disruption, minimise risk, and create agility.
  • Designing Inclusive and Safe Spaces - Incorporating diverse perspectives into engineering projects allows for the creation of inclusive and safe spaces for all individuals involved. People from diverse backgrounds often possess a deep understanding of the challenges faced by their respective communities, including the need for safe and inclusive environments. Apple at the WWDC 2021 published a detailed guide to encourage developers to build inclusive applications. Apple argues that inclusive apps put people first by “prioritising respectful communication and presenting content and functionality in ways that everyone can access and understand.”
  • Benefit from Satisfied Clients – DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) can lead to a more diverse customer base, which can help companies better understand and cater to their customers' needs and preferences. This, in turn, can lead to an improved customer experience, as customers feel seen and valued. Also, via diverse leadership and management teams, a business can better reflect the needs and experiences of its customer base, leading to more equitable and inclusive policies and practices. This fosters a positive and inclusive company culture, which can translate into improved customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Today, customers and future employees have access to detailed information, news, social media, videos, and feedback about almost any business. Businesses and brands that simply pose as being diverse and inclusive will be easily discovered as such, and promptly ignored. Those that live the diversity they espouse will attract and retain employees and customers who are most interested in organisations that live the values they themselves believe in.

How Redline Supports Diversity

At Redline, we pride ourselves on supporting diversity in a variety of ways. We are an equal employer, meaning that we focus our attention on talent, skill, and experience, and not someone’s background or personal preferences. Our core values are Teamwork, Respect, Integrity, Tenacity, and Curiosity. Our workplace is welcoming, supportive and diverse, and we have created a culture that has everyone’s best interests at heart. Every member of the team is at the core of what we do, and we go above and beyond to help individuals achieve their goals.

Redline Group change lives every day, building world-class teams for engineering and high-tech companies through a knowledge-led approach. If you would like to find out more about how we can help, send us an email on or give us a call on 01582 450054.


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