As structural engineers, we have a significant impact on shaping the built environment for communities all around the country. Yet the 2020 SE3 survey results demonstrate that the structural engineering profession does not fully reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the United States. Black/African Americans are 13.4% and Hispanic/Latinx Americans are 18.5% of the US population (per the U.S. Census Bureau), but make up only 1.3% and 6.2%, respectively, of survey respondents. In recognition of the national spotlight on racial injustice, how can we progress towards racial equity in the structural engineering community?
In this session, we will highlight common experiences that are reflected in the SE3 survey data as related to race and racial inequities. We will connect our everyday experiences in the structural engineering workplace through conversation with experts on racial diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within the AEC industry. Active audience participation will be encouraged and supported through the use of anonymous polls throughout the session. Attendees will leave with ideas on clear, achievable actions to take as individuals and as firm leaders to help advance racial equity in our industry.
Yiselle Santos Rivera, Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion | HKS, Inc.
Karl W. Reid, Executive Director | National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
In the Spring of 2020, the SE3 Committee conducted its third nationwide survey of structural engineers across the profession. The survey is an ongoing effort to identify trends, and to initiate industry-wide conversations. In 2020, the committee streamlined its core questions regarding career satisfaction, compensation, and work-life balance. New to the survey were questions regarding challenges in retention and recruitment of engineers, work flexibility before and after COVID-19, and perception of the profession compared to other STEM careers among other topics.
This presentation will highlight the work being done by the SE3 committee with particular focus on the results of the 2020 survey. Attendees will gain an understanding of the current challenges facing the profession as well as actionable information and a set of recommended best practices to help improve both their firms and the profession as a whole.
Rose McClure, Senior Consulting Engineer | Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
In a changing workplace with frequent advancements in technology and shifting cultural values, work flexibility has become a popular topic of debate within the structural engineering community. Previous SE3 surveys investigated the demand of various employment benefits and the committee continues to delve deeper into this subject. As respondents continue to cite work flexibility as a desired component to help achieve work-life balance, this session will review challenges faced by the industry and its adaption into the workplace.
As part of the on-going discussion, the SE3 Committee will share results from their broader study on the changing workplace; including what types of flexibility are most important to structural engineers, how this varies for different demographic groups, and identifying shifts in cultural perceptions.
Andrea Reynolds, Director of Structural Engineering | SmithGroup
Rens Hayes, Principal | H+O Structural Engineering