June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.554.1 - 26.554.12
Diversity in Chemical Engineering Education: Status and PerspectivesFor several years now, there has been a call for a more diverse workforce within engineering.Even as far back as 1998, the National Academy of Engineering published a report entitled“Diversity in Engineering” that described how the current state of the engineering workforce wasnot representative of the population of the United States. The report went on to outline thatwithout representation of under-represented minorities, women as well as individual diversity,the solutions to engineering problems could suffer from a lack of input from individuals withdifferent life experiences.1 Fifteen years later we find ourselves not significantly ahead of wherewe were at the time the report was issued. Recently, the National Science Foundation’s biennialreport on “Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering” waspublished which showed that the engineering and scientific workforce is still made up of 51%white males2 despite continued efforts on the part of academic institutions, professionalorganizations and other stakeholders to address this issue.As part of the ASEE’s “Year of Action on Diversity”, the chemical engineering divisionassembled a committee to perform a review of the state of diversity within its division and toidentify opportunities where improvements could be made and a plan for accomplishing thesegoals. The diversity committee performed preliminary analysis of the chemical engineeringdivision’s membership information and compared it against diversity data for engineering facultyand the overall engineering workforce. Chemical engineering divisions’ membershipinformation was obtained from ASEE’s membership unit, data on diversity in engineeringworkforce was extracted from NSF’s workforce data archive2, and data on diversity inengineering faculty was extracted from ASEE’s Engineering by the Numbers document.4 It wasfound that gender diversity in the division exceeded that of both doctoral level professionals andchemical engineering faculty but still fell short of the general working population. Diversity ofunderrepresented minorities within the division was at similar levels to those within doctorallevel professions and chemical engineering faculty except for the Asian/Pacific Islander womenand Hispanic men groups which were found to be underrepresented in the division.In an effort to inform the division of the current status of diversity and provide a forum forchange to occur, the division is planning to host a diversity panel that will include panelists fromdifferent career stages that can share their experiences and perspectives on diversity. Eachpanelist will be provided with a short survey that will allow them to inform the committee aboutthe diversity issues they feel have most relevance as we move forward within the chemicalengineering division. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of results from this survey will beperformed to provide perspectives on the issues of diversity within the chemical engineeringdivision membership.
Bodnar, C. A., & Felse, A., & High, K. A., & Keith, J. M., & Minerick, A., & Saterbak, A., & Cole, J. (2015, June), Diversity in Chemical Engineering Education: Status and Perspectives Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23892
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