New Orleans, Louisiana
June 25, 2016
June 25, 2016
June 25, 2016
Diversity and International Forum
In the 21st century, the global knowledge economy faces numerous challenges, which can only be surmounted through the full participation and equal regard of all diverse talents. In engineering education this broadening of participation is of paramount importance, as this field grapples first-hand with how to effectively address many of these global problems. Unfortunately, engineering education suffers from a lack of diversity due to gendered, ethno-racial, and cultural barriers, often implicit, that circumvent the full inclusion of members from underrepresented groups. This lack of diversity threatens to impede engineering’s ability to tackle these pressing societal issues. As such, the field of engineering is at a critical crossroads, at which it is imperative that thought-leaders from multiple nations across academia, industry, and the government, come together to initialize a global scale collaborative effort to diversify the field. This paper describes one such diversity effort that took place at the 2015 World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) in Florence, Italy, that resulted from prior meetings and conversations at the 2014 WEEF meeting in Dubai, UAE, and the 2015 ASEE meeting with UNESCO in Seattle, WA, USA, which in concert expand on the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies’ (IFEES) increased emphasis on inclusion. This new effort, the September 2015 WEEF special session: “Diversity & Inclusion in Global Engineering Education Education- Initializing Global Scale Collaboration,” was designed to educate and spur an international audience of leaders to collective action toward fostering practices to diversify engineering. This paper, in two interrelated sections, 1) reviews the educational component and 2) the resulting outcomes and recommendations of this session. The first section, summarizes the framing of the issue through literature and data on diversity and inclusion, followed by a description of the training on explicit and implicit biases at the session. This section also includes results from an interactive exercise in which audience member’s anonymously reported their experiences with biases in engineering and articulated the tools they need to cultivate diversity among their students and colleagues. Participants included engineering deans and corporate CEOs from Nigeria, Turkey, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries. Section two is action-oriented and builds upon the educational awareness and session participants’ personal experiences as outlined in section one. This second section describes the use of Structure-Behavior-Function (SBF), an approach from systems engineering, and other best practices, as empowering tools leaders can implement to broach the subject of diversity, and foster actions that lead to respect, appreciation, equity, and inclusion of individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds within their respectives countries. As a continuation of conversations from the special session at WEEF in Italy, this paper offers recommendations that can assist global stakeholders in countries outside of the U.S. to develop locally supportive climates for people from all backgrounds (students, faculty, and staff) who seek and share engineering education. Further, faculty within the U.S. can use these recommendations as they train their students to be culturally-competent, and globally-relevant engineers.
Reed, A. M., & Tull, R. G., & Delaine, D. A., & Williams, D. N., & Sigamoney, R. (2016, June), Building Global Infrastructure for Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2016 ASEE International Forum, New Orleans, Louisiana. https://peer.asee.org/27237
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