To understand the current status of diversity in the offshore renewable energy (ORE) sector (and more widely in engineering) and to gain insights into the approaches being tried to increase diversity, we undertook a scoping study Equality-Diversity-and-Inclusion-in-Engineering_Full-Report_web.pdf (supergen-ore.net) which identified a roadmap towards positive change.
A key finding from this report was that actions to promote diversity and inclusion are often uncoordinated and short lived and that a more joined up approach would be more effective. We are therefore working with a wide range of partners to align activities and ensure mutual learning. This includes the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) Diversity group, charged with delivering targets set in the sector deal. The lessons learnt through this process are also being applied more widely through the IDRIC project working across industrial decarbonisation, which faces similar challenges in developing a diverse workforce.
In addition, the report identified the importance of addressing all stages of the ‘leaky pipeline’ of talent into the sector. We have therefore developed activities to promote engagement with the ORE sector for school age children and their parents/carers. One of which was publication of a new children’s adventure book to communicate offshore renewable energy, developed with Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub. We have also employed unconventional approaches such as the use of music/dance/video in the Turning the Tide project, to promote engagement in the offshore wind sector.