An organisation seeking to make the engineering profession more inclusive has launched a survey looking at ‘masculinity’ in engineering and its impact on mental health.
It is intended the survey will build upon research carried out in 2018 by EqualEngineers that concluded one in five engineers had lost a male colleague to suicide, while a similar proportion had self-harmed or experienced suicidal thoughts themselves.
Founder and managing director Dr Mark McBride-Wright said: “For me, inclusivity in the workplace is a health and safety issue. Not being able to be open about who you are, because of attitudes and lack of diversity around you can lead to mental health issues and decreased wellbeing.
“In construction, for example, an industry where suicide rates among men are more than three times the national average, more needs to be done to ensure that commitment to these issues goes much further than token inclusion policies.
Male mental health
“My hope for this survey is to capture the voice of men in the engineering and tech industries, individuals who perhaps feel excluded from the focus on diversity and inclusion efforts of organisations.”
The survey was launched on World Mental Health Day on 10 October and closes on 30 November. It will seek to determine whether men in the sector feel able to open up about their mental health challenges, or whether stigma still exists.
Simon Blake, chief executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, commented: “At MHFA England we want to support organisations to build inclusive workplaces that put people, mental health and wellbeing at the heart of their strategy for success. To do this we have to know what people think, feel and experience. This survey will help develop understanding of the impact of gender expectations on men in the engineering profession so everyone can thrive and get the help and support they need, when they need it.”
The Royal Academy of Engineering’s director of engineering and education Dr Rhys Morgan said: “It is vitally important that we try to capture the voices of everyone working in engineering as we work to create a more inclusive profession. Engineering has a first-class reputation for creating a culture where safety is at the heart of what we do, and we now need to extend this to consideration of psychological safety.”