The ASEE Board authorized 2014-2015 as the Year of ACTION on Diversity, wherein members discussed, engaged, and highlighted individual and collective activities that serve to advance the Society's diversity efforts and inclusivity.
The need for this YoA was very timely. Calls for diversifying the engineering and engineering technology workforce have led to ASEE divisions and specific subpopulation organizations, but the numbers have climbed only slightly. A different, broader, majority inclusive approach was needed. While there is still much work to do, the Year of Action provided a start to this majority approach.
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).
A Taskforce on Diversity was created in 2009 with a specific charge to create an action oriented strategic plan to identify activities and systemic policies ASEE can do. The result was the formation of the ASEE Diversity Committee in 2011 with a document summarizing 32 action-oriented recommendations to the ASEE Board of Directors. ASEE is well positioned nationally and globally to lead engineering education to achieve the diversity needed for future engineering innovations and there is a strategic plan to position the society to increase diversity in the profession. Some of these 32 recommendations have been achieved; the Year of ACTION on Diversity had a goal to enable all members of ASEE to have the tools to acknowledge and discuss current problems and provide resources to make oneself into an advocate to actively change the engineering climate. Please fully utilize all of the resources included on this webpage, and direct any suggestions for additional resources or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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