COLLEGE STATION, TX--(Marketwired - Sep 12, 2016) - The numbers are a stark reminder that there is much work to be done to bring gender balance to the fields of engineering and technology. According to the National Science Foundation, 20 percent of engineering graduates are women but only 11 percent of engineers are women, numbers that are especially troubling when you consider that women account for 47 percent of the labor force and more than 40 percent of all four year degrees granted in the last five years.
The high attrition rate of those who pursue a different career path, even after obtaining an engineering degree is further evidence that achieving gender balance in engineering and technology-related fields is a massive undertaking that will require a dynamic, focused, collaborative approach.
This week, some of the brightest minds in the fields of engineering, technology, diversity and inclusion -- from corporate America and education -- are tackling the challenge of attracting and retaining more women in engineering and technology-related careers.
The two day event (September 14-15) at Texas A&M University is the culmination of six months of roundtables with thought-leaders conducted across the nation, dedicated to in-depth exploration of key diversity and inclusion challenges facing the women in the technology and engineering arena.
The forum -- the brainchild of True Blue Inclusion and sponsored by Chevron and Intel -- will focus on three primary topics in the race to inclusion identified as key to successfully achieving gender balance.
- Man Up: Why Men? Examines how the engineering culture weighs against women in a male-dominated and controlled world, and how men who are in the industry can take personal accountability which is integral for creating space for greater diversity in the engineering and technology disciplines.
- Women: Why So Few? It's an "And" World. Attract and Retain the Best will examine unique solutions to attract women into engineering fields, change the way we invest our resources and unearth the insights that will help us stop trailing all other disciplines within STEM when it comes to increasing participation among women.
- Difference Makes Me Strong: The Resiliency of Individuality will address topics related to the intersections of gender, the implications of gender washing and the interconnectedness of collective struggle, with a specific focus on race and ethnicity.
Efforts will culminate in the release of a BluePrint for Action offering a detailed action plan designed to offer solutions for achieving gender balance in engineering and technology fields.
In addition to an impressive list of participants that includes college of engineering deans, faculty, and corporate executives, the following speakers will be on hand to help move this important agenda:
- Rosalind L. Hudnell, Vice President of Human Resources and Director of Global Employee Communications and Diversity at Intel Corporation
- Shariq Yosufzai, Vice President, Global Diversity, Ombudsman, University and Association Relationships, Chevron
- Michael Wirth, Executive Vice President, Midstream and Development, Chevron
- Shantell Martin, internationally acclaimed visual artist
- Shayla Rivera, former NASA scientist turned stand-up comedian and keynote speaker
- Ambassador Deborah Birx, M.D., Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy
- Dr. M. Katherine Banks, Vice Chancellor and Dean, College of Engineering, Texas A&M University
- Kenneth Barrett, Global Chief Diversity Officer, General Motors
- Sanetra Caprice Bailey, Computer Engineer, Robot Designer, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA
- Dr. Roger Green, Associate Professor, Undergraduate Coordinator, North Dakota State University
- Dr. Romila Singh, Professor, Lubar School of Business, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Co-Author Study, Steaming the Tide - Why Women Leave Engineering
About True Blue Inclusion
True Blue Inclusion, led by Catherine Cornelius Smith, specializes in diversity, inclusion, thought-leadership, workforce, workplace and change management. Having amassed an impressive list of corporate clients over the past seven years, True Blue Inclusion curates and creates experiences, relationships, and networks to produce actionable solutions that impact business strategies and promote real change. Find out more at www.trueblueinclusion.com.
About Texas A&M Engineering
Within The Texas A&M University System, nine of the 11 universities offer engineering degree programs with a combined enrollment of more than 25,000 engineering students and more than 600 engineering faculty members. The largest engineering program is at Texas A&M University in College Station with more than 17,000 students, including approximately 13,500 undergraduates and approximately 3,500 graduate students, and $308 million in engineering research expenditures annually, among the highest in the U.S. The A&M System engineering program also includes three state agencies: Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) which conducts engineering research, performs education and workforce development and transfers technology discoveries into the marketplace; Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) which delivers emergency response, homeland security and workforce training and exercises; and Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) which conducts transportation research and transfers technology to industry and the public.