Why is equity, diversity & inclusion (EDI) important in engineering?

A Professional Engineer is working on his computer.

This March, National Engineering Month Ontario will be holding events for engineering students and professionals across the province. During Week 4 we will be covering the topic of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in engineering fields. If you haven’t already seen the 2023 event line-up, be sure to check out the NEM Ontario 2023 event calendar and sign up for an upcoming event.

Why is EDI important in engineering?

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the need for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of society, including the engineering field. This is important for several reasons.

  1. Different approaches to problem-solving: A diverse and inclusive engineering workforce leads to better and more innovative solutions. A diverse group of individuals brings a wide range of perspectives and experiences to the table, which can lead to more creative and effective problem-solving. Studies have shown that diverse teams tend to outperform homogenous ones, and companies with more diverse teams tend to be more successful.
  2. More opportunities for under-represented groups: EDI helps to break down the stereotypes and biases that have historically held certain groups back from pursuing engineering careers. This can create a more equitable and just society by providing opportunities for under-represented groups to succeed and excel.
  3. Better service for everyone: Diversity in the engineering field is essential for the future of engineering. With a more diverse workforce, engineering will be able to better serve and address the needs of a diverse population, which is key for global competitiveness. To address the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering, we need people from all different backgrounds to come together and enact change.

How can we increase the representation of under-represented groups in engineering?

  • Education & Outreach: One approach is through outreach and education programs that aim to increase awareness about engineering careers and provide access to resources and opportunities for individuals from under-represented groups. The Indigenous and Black Engineering and Technology Momentum Fellowship (IBET) program is an example of one of these initiatives.
  • Training & Mentorship: It’s also important to actively work to create a more inclusive and welcoming culture in the engineering field. This can be achieved through things such as training on unconscious bias and inclusive language, as well as providing opportunities for networking and mentorship for under-represented groups.
  • Look for Opportunities: Seek out ways to promote EDI within your own workplace and community and recognize the importance of diverse perspectives in the field of engineering. If you want to learn more about how to make your school or workplace more inclusive. be sure to attend Week 4 of National Engineering Month Ontario events. All events are free to attend and will be happening online and in person. Save your spot today at nemontario.ca/events.

A final note on why EDI is so important in engineering:

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are super important for the engineering field to be able to address the complex challenges of today and tomorrow. A diverse and inclusive engineering workforce leads to better and more innovative solutions, and it is essential for a more equitable and just society. By working to increase the representation of under-represented groups in engineering, we can take steps towards a more diverse and inclusive field, which is vital for addressing global challenges, as well as creating a more equitable and just society. 

Learn. Grow. Thrive. Together. 

With bold topics, industry expertise, and diverse perspectives – National Engineering Month is Ontario’s engineering event of the year. Together we can advance the engineering profession, spark an interest in the next generation of engineering professionals and celebrate the role that engineers play in our society. We hope you can be a part of these incredible events by attending a #NEM2023 event. For more information about National Engineering Month Ontario events, please visit nemontario.ca.

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