LGBT+ Pride in Engineering

15th June 2022, Tara McManus

June marks the beginning of pride month, a month to celebrate the LGBT+ community and acknowledge the hardships they’ve faced.

In 2015, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers reported that homophobia cost £11.2bn a year due to bullying and pressures impacting people’s ability to work.

Stonewall’s research reveals that a worrying number of LGBT+ employees in the engineering and construction sector have experienced discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. In this article, we explore the current state of inclusivity in the industry and suggest strategies to create a more welcoming and supportive environment. By implementing these measures, we can address discrimination, improve productivity, and enhance the reputation of engineering and construction companies.

The State of Inclusivity in Engineering and Construction

Historically, the engineering and construction sector has been criticised for its lack of inclusivity. A 2018 study highlighted the prevalence of homophobia within the industry, contributing to an unwelcoming atmosphere that compelled many individuals to hide their identities. Another survey found that 39%of LGBT+ architects had witnessed homophobic or transphobic slurs in their workplaces.

Unfortunately, the industry’s diversity rate remains low. According to the Construction Leadership Council, out of 24,000 construction employees, only 1% identified as bisexual, 0.8% as gay men, and 0.2% as lesbian. This starkly contrasts with the majority, 97.9%, identifying as heterosexual. These statistics have large implications, with over £11.2bn in productivity losses attributed to discrimination-related pressures on workers. It is evident that urgent action is necessary to effect positive change.

Promoting Inclusivity

To foster an inclusive environment for LGBT+ employees, it is crucial that every individual takes action. Adopting a “no bystander” policy, which discourages offensive language and behaviour, is an important first step. However, great change must also come from organisational leadership and flow throughout the entire company.


Establishing groups or networks dedicated to supporting LGBT+ employees can create a valuable support system. These forums offer opportunities for employees and allies to come together, discuss workplace issues, and ensure that everyone’s voices are heard. The involvement of company representatives is crucial to drive necessary actions.


Conducting anonymous surveys allows employees to share their perspectives on workplace equality. These surveys can identify existing issues, inform the development of policies, and guide future plans aimed at promoting inclusivity throughout the organization.


Diversity and inclusivity training programs play a pivotal role in educating employees about the impact of discrimination. Training should cover a wide range of issues, including racism, sexism, and religious discrimination, and specifically address the challenges faced by LGBT+ individuals. Reinforcing the company’s discrimination policies through training helps maintain awareness and understanding among employees.

Inclusivity benefits everyone!

Research has consistently demonstrated that creating an inclusive workplace benefits both employees and the business as a whole.

  • A positive and inclusive environment fosters employee well-being, motivation, and job satisfaction, resulting in improved productivity.
  • When employees feel valued, respected, and supported, they are more likely to stay with the company for the long term, reducing turnover rates.
  • Companies that actively promote inclusivity and diversity earn a reputation for being socially responsible, attracting talented individuals and fostering positive relationships with clients and stakeholders.
  • By fostering an inclusive culture, organizations can tap into a wider talent pool, attracting qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Everyone should feel comfortable being themselves at work.  So, whether you’re a part of the LGBT+ community or are an ally, we must take our part to rid discrimination of all kinds.

Find some amazing resources for LGBT in Construction and Engineering:

Building Equality LinkedIn Page -‘Our vision is to have a wholly welcoming, inclusive and supportive industry for LGBTQ+ individuals.’

InterEngineering LGBT – ‘To connect, inform and empower LGBTQ+ engineers and their supports to foster greater inclusion in engineering.’

Mind LGBT+ Support  – ‘To Give information about mental health support for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer or questioning (LGBTIQ+).’

Connectment Ltd is a consultancy-based recruitment company based in the North East, operating globally. Our reputation is based on proven results, as we are dedicated to providing our clients and candidates with the best possible service. If you are interested in working with us, get in touch today.

Connectment, connecting you to success.