Institute of Water gives platform to Black voices

Feb 8, 2021

Institute of Water gives platform to Black voices

The Professional Engineering Institution, The Institute of Water, has released its first Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) report and a video that gives a platform for Black people in the water industry to share their experiences of racism.

Founded in 1945, The Institute of Water supports the careers of anyone working in the water industry, and members are drawn from water companies, suppliers, contractors, consultants, regulators and academia.

The Institute carried out its first DEI survey of members in 2015 and the results were used to underpin a DEI policy, aims and action plan for the next five years. In October 2020, a further survey was conducted using similar questions to those asked in 2015 and the key findings have now been published.

They include:

  • Increase in their membership of people who identify as female – from 20% in 2015 to 37.5% in 2020
  • Significant increase in the number of members who identify themselves from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background – from 4.2% in 2015 to 7% in 2020.

The video is a highlight from a series of webinars about ‘Black voices in the water industry’ held by the Welsh Area of the Institute of Water. The webinars were seen by over 600 members and non-members, who heard from an invited panel of speakers discussing their experiences both within the industry and the wider environment.

It covers a range of issues from the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement to how everyone can stand side-by-side with people of colour to fight for equality by educating themselves about the realities of racism – both past and present.

The video can be viewed on YouTube and the full DEI report can be downloaded here.

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