Diverse Group of Students

Learn more about ASEE's Year of Action on Diversity

ASEE Definition of Diversity

The American Society for Engineering Education defines diversity as the inclusion of individuals that represent variations in gender, race, ethnic background, disability, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, nationality and other non-visible differences resulting in an environment rich in intellectual variety and respect for the individual, and optimally suited to address the technological needs of the future.

ASEE Statement on Diversity

In order for the U.S. to remain technologically competitive, the engineering education community and profession must increase the engagement of our entire population in promoting engineering as a desired career option and promote the pursuit of engineering careers among those who have been historically under-represented within the engineering community. ASEE believes that regardless of gender, age, race, ethnic background, disability, sexual orientation or national origin all individuals must be provided with equality of opportunity to pursue and advance in engineering careers.

ASEE created a Diversity Committee in fiscal 2011, with a strategic plan to position the society in partnership with appropriate organizations to increase diversity in the profession. 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 committee will create model policies and practices for engineering colleges, with practical guidance on actions leading to attracting students; lifting barriers to access for students from underrepresented groups; and enrolling, retaining, and graduating more diverse cohorts of engineers. The committee will encourage engineering college collaboration with successful programs that promote diversity, such as “Engineers Week” and “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.”  It will also promote excellence by working with the Baldrige Awards to develop a highly prestigious awards program to recognize engineering schools that achieve key goals.

ASEE is committed to increasing the participation of diverse individuals in all venues where engineering is taught, practiced and supported. These include pre-college, college and industry environments as well as within professional organizations that support engineering. ASEE recognizes that steady gains have been made in the number of women, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans in engineering over the past decade. However, progress has not been adequate, and under representation of these and other groups continues to be a problem facing the profession.

ASEE strongly supports increasing diversity in engineering education, engineering technology education, and the engineering profession. ASEE believes this can be achieved by promoting greater participation of people from varying backgrounds while supporting the education, recruitment, retention, and advancement of these groups in engineering education, engineering technology education, and the engineering profession.

ASEE believes that diversity enriches the educational experience and improves the practice of engineering. We learn from those whose experiences, beliefs, and perspectives are different from our own, and these lessons can be taught best in a richly diverse intellectual and social environment.

The American Society for Engineering Education is a nonprofit association of more than 11,000 members representing colleges, corporations, and other organizations dedicated to promoting excellence in engineering education and engineering technology education. ASEE, which celebrated its centennial in 1993, plays a key role in developing and promoting policies that will enable engineering education and its allied branches of science and technology to meet the new challenges of global competition and changing demographics.

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