The Chemical Engineer magazine has an article in it this month about diversity in engineering, titled "The Hidden Engineers" It looks at the experience of LGBT engineers, female engineers, BME engineers, disabled engineers, engineers from poor backgrounds. It includes the result of a survey that shows that 6% of Chemical Engineers are LGBT but less than half are out at work and 40% have witnessed discrimination and 20% have experienced it. It also talks about other experiences of discrimination and puts a strong case for companies taking action.
I am really pleased that this discussion is happening and really pleased that it is the cover story of the Institution's magazine.
The title on the cover is "Spot the difference. Your disaffected colleagues hidden in plain view". That's a really bloody weird interpretation of the article which doesn't use the word disaffected. The cartoon is even weirder - identikit, smiling, pale, male figures with one exception who has a red tie and a sad expression.
The headline and cartoon shows white, straight, male engineers as the standard and mutates "discriminated against" into "disaffected" - a neat bit of victim blaming. For an extra bonus, it insinuates that engineers who are not straight, white and male are misleading and need to be 'outed' by our 'normal' colleagues.