NSPE Adopts New Policy on Diversity

September/October 2017

NSPE Today
NSPE Adopts New Policy on Diversity

ABET Publishes New Policy On Diversity and Inclusion

Accreditation organization ABET adopted a new policy statement on diversity and inclusion on June 12.

The policy notes that to “enter the global workforce in the applied and natural sciences, computing, engineering, and engineering technology professions,” graduates must prepare to “thrive in diverse and inclusive environments.”

ABET also says the organization is committed to “promoting diversity and inclusion in accreditation operations and governance through the work of staff, volunteers, and leadership; encouraging diverse talents to be used in accreditation operations and ABET governance; and promoting inclusive practices and diversity” in their accredited educational programs.

To promote increased diversity and inclusion within the engineering profession, NSPE has adopted a new professional policy calling for “a diverse and welcoming environment for everyone interested in the licensed practice of engineering.”

The policy, approved by the NSPE House of Delegates on July 22, reads in full: “It is the policy of NSPE to create a diverse and welcoming environment for everyone interested in the licensed practice of engineering. NSPE recognizes the benefits of a diverse population of licensed engineers in shaping the future of engineering. Diverse backgrounds foster unique contributions and capabilities and create an inclusive community ultimately leading to a more creative, effective, and technically respected community. NSPE proactively encourages diversity in all areas of the engineering profession and within the organization. NSPE’s business entities and volunteer groups are committed to developing business practices and position statements in support of this policy.”

The updated policy was drafted by the Committee on Policy and Advocacy. In light of the new professional policy on diversity, the NSPE Board of Directors voted to rescind Position Statement No. 1740 on Minorities and Women in Engineering.

COPA Chair and NSPE Past President Dan Wittliff, P.E., F.NSPE, says that the committee tried to make the new policy an “inclusive statement.”

“We welcome anyone who is interested in [engineering],” says Wittliff. “If you have the talent and desire, we want you to be a licensed PE. And we want you in our organization.”

NSPE is also currently a member of the 50K Coalition, a collaboration of more than 40 organizations focused on producing 50,000 diverse engineering graduates annually by 2025. The coalition was formed by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers to bring more diversity into the classroom and workplace.

See related article about ASCE’s addition of a statement on diversity to its code of ethics.