Crystal City, Virginia
April 29, 2018
April 29, 2018
May 2, 2018
Diversity and LGBTQ+
Increasing diversity among faculty, students, and working professionals within engineering has been a longstanding goal of engineering professional societies, universities, and government organizations. However, progress has been slow and uneven across groups with diverse identities and across disciplinary specialty areas within engineering. In response, more than 175 engineering deans have now signed the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Engineering Deans Council (EDC) Diversity Initiative Letter to support efforts to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in engineering education. In that letter, the signatories pledged to provide “educational experiences that are inclusive and prevent marginalization of any groups of people because of visible or invisible differences” [1, Para. 3, emphasis mine]. Visible and invisible differences encompass dissimilarities of sexual and gender identity, but those topics have been frequently overlooked in the context of engineering. The lack of data regarding engineers who identify across these spectrums of sexuality and gender identity has limited the full picture of existing diversity in engineering.
This paper discusses lessons learned from the author’s recent dissertation work focused on the experiences of tenure track engineering faculty who identify as sexual minorities. Those lessons include overlap discovered between the experiences of faculty who identify as women and faculty of all genders who identify as sexual minorities. The intended outcome of this paper is to encourage thoughtful discussions with deans and other diversity allies regarding how to expand the EDC Diversity Initiative beyond its gendered and racial/ethnic lenses to incorporate intersectional identities held by engineering faculty members, students, and staff. The paper concludes with implementable suggestions for how to fully engage the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and others (LGBTQ+) population in the ASEE Dean’s Diversity Initiative.
Sandekian, R. (2018, April), Understanding the Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Engineering Faculty and Actively Engaging Them in the ASEE Deans Diversity Initiative Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/29590
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