Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

NSPE proactively encourages diversity in all areas of the engineering profession and within the organization.

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. (NSPE Professional Policy No. 01)

Why Should I Care About Diversity in Engineering?

When the profession’s diversity becomes the topic of conversation, common questions arise in the 2020 July/August issue of PE magazine. Members of the NSPE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee responded directly to popular questions raised.

  • Vatsal Shah, P.E.
    Vatsal Shah, P.E.
    Member, NSPE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee
  • For professional engineers, our qualifications set us apart. We hire the best person for the job regardless of what they look like or where they are from. Why should we lower the bar just to meet diversity quotas?

    Shah: Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not about lowering the standards for the professional practice of engineering. NSPE’s vision makes that clear: “A world where the public can be confident that engineering decisions affecting their lives are made by qualified and ethically accountable professionals.”

    Read more

  • Zohaib Alvi, P.E.
    Zohaib Alvi, P.E.
    Member, NSPE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee
  • Companies should focus on profitability, so why do they need to be concerned about the diversity of their workforce?

    Alvi: We can look at this question from the philosophical standpoint and also as a business case. Let’s start with the philosophical. In How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie wrote, “Some people [who read this chapter] are going to say: ‘All this talk about getting interested in others is a lot of damn nonsense! Sheer religious pap! None of that stuff for me! I am going to put money in my purse.

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  • Kerrie Greenfelder, P.E., DBIA
    Kerrie Greenfelder, P.E., DBIA
    Member, NSPE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee
  • How can we have a focus on diversity in engineering when there is a lack of gender and racial diversity in engineering schools and in certain parts of our nation?

    Greenfelder: Ask any hiring manager and they’ll agree that recruiting and retaining top talent in the engineering sector isn’t easy. Pursuing a diverse workforce as an objective can make the hiring process even more difficult. We can and should, however, strive for diversity.

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  • Jacquelyn Brooks, P.E.
    Jacquelyn Brooks, P.E.
    Chair, NSPE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee
  • Maybe the pendulum has swung too far, and we are now discriminating against white males.

    Brooks: White males are very much in the majority in engineering schools and the engineering profession, especially in leadership positions. The composition of the engineering classroom and the profession has slowly changed over the decades, however. Compared with previous decades, today it’s increasingly common to see women and minorities in the engineering workforce.

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  • Joseph Rapier, P.E.
    Joseph Rapier, P.E.
    Member, NSPE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee
  • Why is NSPE focusing on a divisive issue like this now?

    Rapier: It’s a natural reaction to be uncomfortable when addressing unfamiliar issues, especially when it comes to personal interactions, and to assume the issue is divisive. Interpersonal relationships and interactions are difficult subjects for the members of any organization to navigate, whether they are the organization’s leaders or new graduates entering the professions.

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NSPE DEI Milestones

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at NSPE is not just a buzz phrase, nor did it appear overnight. NSPE DEI initiatives were set in motion more than four years ago by leaders of the Society and continues to be a strategic focus as affirmed by the NSPE Strategic Plan.

July 2020 – Present   DEI Advisory Committee continues to work on NSPE Presidential charges and serve as advisors to the NSPE Board of Directors.

July 2020   NSPE publishes inaugural diversity issue of PE magazine.

June 2020   NSPE issues Statement of Concern During a Time of Social Unrest

January 2020   NSPE approves Diversity and Tomorrow’s Engineers strategies and tactics.

August 2019   NSPE establishes the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Committee.

July 2019   NSPE adds a new professional obligation to the NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers confirming appropriate treatment of all persons.

June 2019   NSPE approves strategic plan championing unity and “diversity and inclusion, ensuring the profession is a reflection of society.”

July 2017   NSPE adopts Professional Policy No. 1 – Diversity.

NSPE Publications & Articles

‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ Articles from PE magazine

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Activities

NSPE Guiding Principles