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Read.Watch.Listen. Women’s History Month

March 2024 Issue

A monthly forum to share diversity, equity, and inclusion resources.


Welcome to the next installment of Read.Watch.Listen. This month, in honor of Women’s History Month, we are exploring the ways our profession can be more welcoming to women pursuing careers in STEM, as well as implementing initiatives in our workplaces to retain women as they progress in their careers. Women’s History Month is celebrated annually during the month of March with Women’s International Day observed globally on March 8th. 


The Demographics Topic Brief from the 2020 NCSEA SE3 survey showed that only 24% of all respondents identified as women and that the representation of women decreased with “fewer women at higher position levels”. Pixar’s animated short Purl reminds us that in a male-dominated profession such as structural engineering, we need to make space for underrepresented groups like women and be ready to welcome future and increasingly more diverse generations of engineers. 


Last year, Read.Watch.Listen also celebrated female engineers who are breaking down barriers and making inspiring strides as leaders in their fields. Read their inspiring stories here.


Image by Freepik


Read.Watch.Listen is a monthly forum hosted by the NCSEA SE3 Committee to share and promote conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion within the structural engineering profession. Each month, we will curate a series of articles, audio-visual and digital media to facilitate self-education in matters that affect our professional practice as structural engineers. Whether you choose to read, watch, or listen (or all three!), we hope you will join us in this important conversation. Missed the previous issue? Check out the NCSEA SE3 Committee News and Publication page.


Share your thoughts and/or recommended resources for the next issue at ncsea@ncsea.com.

 

Women in engineering: common barriers and how to overcome them - Buro Happold


Buro Happold is an international, integrated consultancy of engineers, designers and advisers. In this article, they “discuss the wider engineering industry in the context of barriers that women may face – and how Buro Happold and others can support women in overcoming them.” This resource notes the importance of visibility, engagement, culture, and supportive networks. It also discusses ways to encourage retention of women in engineering, including having suitable facilities, supporting parents, sharing success stories, having visible female role models, eradicating any gender bias in hiring processes, and providing flexible working practices.


Originally published June 21, 2023; Estimated Read Time - 8 min

 

Inspiring the next generation of female engineers - TEDx


Debbie Sterling, a mechanical engineer and businesswoman, discusses the odds stacked against women in the engineering field, both in college and in the real world. She has made it her mission to fight the stereotype that women don’t belong in engineering, and has designed a specialized toy called GoldieBlox to inspire young girls that they can do just as much as the boys.


Originally aired April 19, 2013; 00:17:08

 

Inclusive Tech: how to encourage women to stay in science - The Executive Edge


Sue Firth’s podcast, The Executive Edge, aims to explore skills in life and business. In this episode, she interviews Stephanie Slocum of Engineers Rising on how to encourage women to stay in STEM careers. The discussion centers around creating work environments that retain and engage women. The role that encouragement plays in getting women into STEM fields is important and how leadership supports diverse staff members plays a key role in keeping them. They talk about how the awareness of leadership of their unconscious biases can affect an underrepresented group and help nurture an environment of belonging.


Originally posted October 28, 2021; 00:35:19


 

This article was originally published in the March 2024 issue of NCSEA's Structural Connection newsletter. For more information, check out NCSEA's DEI Resources.

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