Discussion: View Thread

  • 1.  Celebrate Diversity Month

    Posted 04-21-2017 04:08 PM

    As a woman who happens to be a civil engineer, I am proud to be part of an organization that values diversity and inclusion.  Given that April is Celebrate Diversity Month, I am curious to know others' thoughts on the importance of diversity and inclusion within our professional community.

     Here's an interesting fill-in-the-blank: Diversity is important at the civil engineering workplace because ______________ …

    Marsha Anderson Bomar M.ASCE
    Gwinnett Village CID
    Norcross GA

  • 2.  RE: Celebrate Diversity Month

    Posted 04-24-2017 12:01 PM

    What a task.  Papers could be written on that one sentence. But to keep it short, diversity brings different view points, different attitudes, and different ideas, all of which makes us better at our jobs.


    Dan Chase

    1327 Del Norte Road Camarillo CA 93010-9123
    Office Phone: (805) 981-0706 Ext 103

    Direct Phone: 805 322-1665

    Cell: 805 233 0900
    Fax: (805) 981-0251




    The content of this email is the confidential property of Stantec and should not be copied, modified, retransmitted, or used for any purpose except with Stantec's written authorization. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete all copies and notify us immediately.


    ü Please consider the environment before printing this email.


  • 3.  RE: Celebrate Diversity Month

    Posted 04-25-2017 04:33 PM
    Oh really Daniel? Different viewpoints, different conclusions, different approaches. And this is supposed to be an unalloyed benefit? Does your 'diversity' include equal considerations to error? Will it entertain inefficiencies and ineffectiveness on the same level as good practice methods? Pursuit of diversity for its own sake is a mindless haven for the mediocre. It is a diversion from what should be the main aim of our profession; the pursuit of excellence. That some women and minority individuals have been excluded from engineering through biased attitudes is truly shameful. Some of the finest engineers I have met in a career of over 50 years have been women, black people and Latinos. That said, some of the most abysmal ones have also come from this same group. Indiscriminate inclusion of this latter group simply for the sake of feel good diversity simply cannot be of any benefit to engineering in general nor to any project that they might happen to be associated with.

    Irving Schlinger P.E., M.ASCE
    Consulting Engineer
    Irving Schlinger P.E.
    Chester NY

  • 4.  RE: Celebrate Diversity Month

    Posted 04-24-2017 12:02 PM

    As a woman who is a civil engineer, I too am proud to be part of an organization that values diversity and inclusion.  Diversity is important at the civil engineering workplace because while each of us can engineer a solution to anything, without the synergy that comes from diverse perspectives, we're not necessarily going to engineer the right solution.  Consideration of cultural impacts, the nuances that come from "turning the problem a quarter turn to the right", and potentially seeing the issue with new eyes only helps us create that third best idea - the one that really meets the objective.  The work that we do, in creating the very foundation upon which our communities are built, demands that we bring a diverse team to the table, so that we consider the unique social, economic and environmental values, ensuring a sustainable future.

    Fran Eide P.E., M.ASCE
    City Engineer
    City of Olympia Public Works
    Olympia WA

  • 5.  RE: Celebrate Diversity Month

    Posted 04-25-2017 09:39 AM
    Dear friends,
    I encourage you nominate a female member of ASCE or EWRI who has demonstrated exemplary service to the water resources and environmental science and engineering community for the ASCE Margaret S. Petersen Award!  More details can be found on the ASCE.org website, by googling "Margaret S. Petersen Award" or using the link http://www.asce.org/templates/award-detail.aspx?id=1625 .

    Curt Elmore Ph.D., P.E., F.EWRI, F.ASCE

  • 6.  RE: Celebrate Diversity Month

    Posted 08-01-2017 06:02 PM

    The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion [1]

    Recruiting more women and minorities into the construction industry provides role models. Seeing other women and minorities within the industry helps promote a sense of belonging and inclusion.

    There is a very real business case for these inclusion initiatives:

    1. Diverse people with diverse thinking leads to creative and innovative ideas and better solutions to industry problems. We need the talent and perspective of minorities and women to move forward.
    2. If you look at sheer numbers, when more women and minorities enter the industry, it will greatly help our current workforce crisis.
    3. The industry is gravitating toward more collaborative ways of project delivery such as IPD and Lean, and, according to my research on the typical emotional profiles for men and women in the industry, women are often better at collaboration than men.

    Most women score relatively high in social responsibility (the ability to work in teams), empathy, and interpersonal relationships. Most men score relatively high in self-regard, independence, and assertiveness.

    [1] Source: http://news.asce.org/the-business-case-for-diversity-and-inclusion/?_ga=2.108382082.1224988909.1501620502-1634123650.1486475107  downloaded 01AUG2017

    William Hayden Ph.D., P.E., CP, F.ASCE
    Amherst NY

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880

  • 7.  RE: Celebrate Diversity Month

    Posted 08-02-2017 10:17 AM
    Bill Hayden's comments about the different qualities women and men bring to group efforts connect with my studies of the human brain.

    On the somewhat broader subject of diversity, Ned Herrmann, author of The Whole Brain Business Book, studied homogeneous and  heterogeneous teams. The homogeneous teams tended to communicate very well, complete assignments quickly, and produce routine results. In contrast, the heterogeneous teams encountered communication problems early on, took a long time to complete their work, and produced creative/innovative results.

    The next time we form an ad hoc group and give them a charge, let's not "get the usual predictable gang together." Instead, "mix em up" and see what happens. In other words, try the Medici Effect.

    Stu Walesh Ph.D., P.E., F.NSPE, Dist.M.ASCE
    Consultant - Teacher - Author
    S.G. Walesh Consulting
    Author of Introduction to Creativity and Innovation for Engineers