Diversity In Engineering

Engineering is almost everywhere right now, and the future is going to be even more exciting! There was a time when most engineers worked, mostly, in mechanical, electrical, civil, or chemical sectors. With the advent of modern technologies and the intermingling of disparate fields, engineering has become ubiquitous. And this multi-dimensional, multi-faceted future needs a diverse workforce as well.

Why talk about diversity in engineering?
Society has opened up and become fluid in many ways. Most jobs cannot be restricted to one society / gender / region anymore. Therefore, it is important to open the world of engineering careers to people everywhere – regardless of country, ethnicity, gender, and race. Diversity is also important because it is one of the best ways to expand the talent pool. Having someone from a ‘different’ background increases the chances of having a completely different perspective. And when one talks about innovation, it all stems from having a unique perspective as well.

The fabric of each society is changing as well. As more and more people move from one country to another, they are creating new multicultural hubs. These new societies are changing the way corporates conduct their recruitment drives as well. It helps a corporate entity to look for the best engineers in a larger pool when they put diversity front & centre.

Making it real
There are specific measures that recruiters can take to ensure they walk the talk when it comes to making engineering more diverse.

millennials at work discussion


According to Deloitte, by the year 2025, 75% of the workforce will consist of millennials. And this generation wants to be part of a company that is making a change in this world. Traditionally, engineering companies are not perceived to be dynamic, accessible, and open. To change this perception, an engineering company must bring in a change in its recruitment strategy as well. Diversity is considered a central principle for a company that is truly growth oriented.

Addressing biases is also important. According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, 20% of engineering graduates are women and yet they make up only 13% of the engineering workforce in the USA. Women quit their engineering jobs because they are given secretarial or managerial roles unlike their male counterparts who are given the ‘real’ engineering jobs.

Cultural and behavioural patterns must change as well. Every person in an engineering company must understand the need to listen when the ‘minority’ is speaking. This could be a woman, someone with a physical challenge, a person from a different background, and so on. But it is crucial to include them in the boardroom and listen to them as well.

The larger picture
In addition to the many advantages of having an active, cohesive, and practical approach to diversity, it dovetails with the larger picture as well. Countries such as UK want to become a scientific superpower and an inclusive workplace can go a long way in making an engineering company help this goal along. It is interesting that diversity also links directly to collaboration. When an organisation depends on multiple skills in engineering and technical areas, it also makes sense to look at multiple groups of people.