2019 Symposium Overview

The SE3 National Symposium: Engagement and Equity in the Structural Engineering Profession

The NCSEA SE3 committee held their first national symposium in conjunction with the 2019 NCSEA Summit in Anaheim, CA on November 12th, 2019. The title and theme of the program was A Reimagined Workplace: How to Navigate and Elevate the Future of our Profession. The attendance list included over 150 people in various stages of their career from across the AEC industry.

 

The half-day event featured key-note speaker Jamie Claire Kiser, Managing Principal at Zweig Group and founder of ElevateHer, who spoke on her experience as a business consultant to AEC firms. She shared ideas for establishing practices that improve recruitment and retention of women and minorities in the industry, stressing the importance of engaging management in these discussions by framing inclusive workplace practices as good business decisions.

Photo courtesy of Natalie Tse

Photo courtesy of Natalie Tse

Three focused sessions followed the key-note speech. The first session provided snapshots of key findings from the 2018 SE3 survey, presented by NCSEA SE3 committee members. These short presentations included key takeaways and recommended practices related to retention and burnout, mentorship, work-life balance, career pathways, and performance review.

 

In the second session, titled “Navigating Common Experiences in the Life of a Structural Engineer,” four industry leaders shared their varied pathways to career success, discussing self-advocacy, career transitions, and how they dealt with different challenges along the way. The last session featured engineers sharing their experiences with implementing diversity and inclusion programs at their firms. 

Rose McClure, current chair of the NCSEA SE3 Committee, and co-founder of SE3, shared her reflections of where and how the SE3 committee started, highlighting the committee’s accomplishments, and where we’ve come since the committee’s inception five years ago.

Check out the 2019 Symposium Recap to learn more about the event and download slides from some of the presentations.

Looking Ahead

At the heart of SE3, we have always been interested in understanding the reasons why people are leaving structural engineering. When the first survey was launched in 2016, the committee consisted of a group of 10 people who were part of the SEAONC membership. In 2017, we started sharing a lot of those findings with the broader structural engineering community. NCSEA approached us with the opportunity to take this conversation nationally. Since then we've been expanding, growing, and engaging more structural engineers around the country.

It has been a long journey for our committee: having conducted two national surveys, sharing findings with over 70 audiences across the country, and establishing strategic partnerships with several collaborating organizations within the broader AEC industry.

 

Moving forward into 2020, in addition to the 2020 NCSEA SE3 survey (development, beta testing, and distribution), we are excited to be transitioning to what we are calling a “CALL TO ACTION”. At the end of the day, we would like all individuals in this profession to move beyond the data by starting conversations and effecting change in their respective organizations.

 

What is your “reimagined workplace” and what do you plan to do to enhance your career, and influence positive changes in your immediate work environment.

Photo courtesy of Rose McClure

We are all here working toward a common goal: Creating better places to work! Better feedback, clearer communication, clear expectations, and employees who feel that they are part of where the firm is going.

Acknowledgments

We’d like to express our gratitude and appreciation to all our sponsors for their generous support! Without their contributions, the 2019 National SE3 Symposium would not have been possible! We also want to sincerely thank the NCSEA Board & Staff for allowing us the opportunity to showcase the hard work of our committee members. We appreciate all your support and efforts!

The 2020 SE3 Survey is officially closed.

Stay tuned for preliminary results!

 © 2020 by the NCSEA SE3 Committee.

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