The ASEE Diversity Committee’s 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 history of this committee began as a task force in 2010. Since then, the actions of the committee have included engaging 24 divisions within ASEE and highlighting multiple dimensions of diversity and inclusion at the Annual Conference & Expo.
Divisions have been engaged by encouraging division by-law changes to include a diversity statement and division delegate participation in committee meetings and activities. Visibility amongst the ASEE community has been increased through regular newsletters; conference programming and “footsteps” of diversity facts at conference venues; and paper, essay and video competitions. Conference programming has expanded from co-sponsorship and Safe Zone workshops to a formal paper program with special sessions as well as workshops. Membership participation in these activities has also grown since 2010. Challenges within ASEE have included bridging conversations and perspectives between technical-focused divisions and thematic divisions, as well as crafting responses to societal challenges that affect engineering students, faculty, and practitioners. This paper will provide examples and strategies that can be scaled and adapted to address institutional or regional challenges or to increase awareness and engagement in other national societies. Outcomes seen through initiatives have resulted in increased connections of potentially disenfranchised members to the ASEE community, engagement across divisions, and expanded programming in support of diversity and inclusion practices. Resources identified and used by the ASEE Diversity Committee will be provided in the paper.
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