Diversity is inclusivity and so very much more, an idea that was highlighted by William A. Wulf in his annual report to the National Academy of Engineering in the early 2000’s. Diversity is strength in creativity, broadness of new ideas, and embracing new perspectives to arrive at the most truly innovative, resource-smart solutions possible.
Diversity refers to “gender, race, ethnic background, disability, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, socio-economic status, nationality and other non-visible differences” such as personality, aspiration, learning style and motivation that Dr. Wulf refers to as individual difference (quotes from the ASEE Definition of Diversity).
In 2011, the ASEE created a Diversity Committee with the goal to increase diversity and inclusiveness in the engineering profession. As part of its charge, the committee encourages each member division to hold at least one activity per year that features inclusiveness, and engages ASEE leaders and members 1) to articulate the importance to the profession of advancing diversity and 2) promote individual and organizational opportunities and responsibilities in developing an engineering community that "looks like" America.
The year 2014–2015 was declared by ASEE as the Year of Action in Diversity. In response to this significant recognition, the Diversity Committee has actively engaged in a number of special activities, compiled multiple resources, and promoted diversity and inclusiveness in the engineering profession. For more information about the Year of Action, see the Year of Action Recap (2014-2015). Please fully utilize all of the resources included on this website, and direct any suggestions for additional resources or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Engineering is empowering society in unprecedented ways. It is at the core of innovation and can address Grand Challenges facing the United States and the world. In order for the engineering discipline to reach its full potential, however, the engineering education community and the engineering profession must better include all segments of our society. In particular, engineering must actively engage and help promote the pursuit of engineering education and engineering careers with those individuals who have been historically under-represented within engineering. ASEE believes that diversity and inclusiveness is essential to enriching educational experiences and innovations that drive the development of creative solutions in addressing the world's challenges. We learn from experiences, beliefs, and perspectives that are different from our own. Diversity, both intellectually and socially, fuels innovation and the development of imaginative and enduring solutions to global problems.
It is with this imperative that ASEE strongly believes that all must be provided with equality of opportunity to pursue and advance in engineering careers and that no individual should experience marginalization or non-inclusiveness of their contributions or talents because of visible or invisible differences. For example, among others, these differences include age, belief system, disability status, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and any other visible or non-visible differences. ASEE is committed to increasing the participation, inclusion, and empowerment of historically under-represented segments of society in all venues where engineering is taught, practiced, and supported. These include pre-college, college, and industry environments as well as professional engineering organizations.
Our vision is to create and foster environments where every individual is respected and no one feels marginalized. ASEE believes that this can be achieved by supporting the education, recruitment, retention, and advancement of these groups in engineering education, engineering technology education, and the engineering profession. While ASEE recognizes that steady gains have been made in the number of women, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans in engineering over the past several years, substantial progress must still be made to reach a state where engineering is fully empowered by all segments of our society, and particularly those who have been historically under-represented.The ASEE Statement on Diversity can also be found here.