UEL empowers minority voice in climate change
31 March 2022
The University of East London (UEL) has been awarded £66,250 from The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAENG), to empower minority groups in the engineering sector to tackle climate change.
Funded by the RAENG's Diversity Impact Programme, the UEL based project titled 'Together Empowered,' will be led by Dr Nikdokht (Nikki) Ghadiminia, lecturer in construction engineering management.
The core activity of the project is a nine-month collaboration with industry in partnership with London Climate Change Partnership (LCCP). Students will help develop strategies to tackle climate change issues in a professional environment with industry partners from their engineering field of interest.
The project will champion voices from women, BAME and LGBTQI+ groups working or studying in the engineering sector, who have been underrepresented in current climate change discussions.
As part of their work they will become climate change champions for London, where they will inform policy set out by the LCCP and develop sustainable solutions to reducing carbon emissions in the engineering sector.
"In this project, we are aiming to give voice to the minoritised groups who are underrepresented in climate change discussions and efforts," said Dr Ghadiminia.
This project will show the importance of including diverse perspectives in developing solutions to global challenges such as climate change. It is important to ensure the engineering industry is benefitting from the diverse and unique intelligence that exists throughout a unique city like London.
"By giving these underrepresented groups of people an opportunity to share their expertise and inform policy, we can help them build networks with industry leaders, gain vital skills that employers look for and diversify the engineering sector.
"Through amplifying these different voices, we can create original solutions and produce the global transformations needed to tackle climate change," she continued.
Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE, Chief Executive of the RAENG, said, "The Academy's new Diversity Impact Programme has been designed to support universities in making a step change in diversity and inclusivity across engineering Higher Education.
"Our goal is to help universities to develop interventions, informed by evidence, that transform the outcomes of students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. It is vital that we seek innovative and creative ways to accelerate the pace of change rather than accepting that incremental improvement is all that is possible.
"There is an extensive evidence base supporting the benefits of diverse teams working in inclusive cultures but there is still a way to go in understanding how to deliver the culture of inclusion that unlocks the power of diversity.
"These projects will give us invaluable insights and experience that will be shared across the Higher Education community so that we can work collectively to drive positive change”.
Together Empowered starts in April 2022 and will invite other London higher education organisations to promote and support participants to the project.
For more information see RAENG's Diversity and Impact programme.
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