Engineering diversity and inclusion

Two men in hard hats are crouching on a large concrete floor. They look like they are discussing something. Engineering diversity and inclusion?The American Society of Civil Engineers acknowledges they have work to do on diversity and inclusion within their workforce and the people they design for. The focus of the Special Collection Announcement publication is about educating engineers. The Society is taking the matter seriously and introducing a new section to their Code of Ethics.

At the end of the Announcement they lament that there were no articles submitted about disability or socio-economic status. Clearly this needs to be addressed in the future so that all aspects of diversity are discussed. 

You can see all abstracts to papers in this collection in the journal’s library link. There are papers on educating engineering students, encouraging women in engineering, and university workplace strategies.

A more recent paper titled, Human Factors Engineering: Designing for Diversity and Accessibility says they are failing on inclusion. The paper has a paywall, but here is the abstract.

Abstract

As the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee enters its fifth year, it continues to encourage the society, annual meeting attendees, and human factors professionals to improve diversity and equity within the field. At the center of this field are humans and their widely varying needs and abilities.

While HFE professionals devote themselves to these needs, their details are often overlooked in order to design for what is assumed to be a majority of users. These assumptions can then lead users to be rejected by products, systems, or objects. This rejection indicates a lack of accessibility, which affects millions worldwide. In this panel, experts in the areas of universal design, healthcare, and accessible design will discuss how to “do” accessibility while demonstrating that accessibility should be considered a required component of usability.