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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v5.i4.10
pages 293-301

A GLOBAL ALLIANCE IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING FOR DIVERSIFYING THE WORKFORCE

Suzanne Gage Brainard
Center for Workforce Development, University of Washington, 101 Wilson Annex, Box 352135, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA

ABSTRACT

For companies to remain competitive in a global technological world, they must take serious steps to create a diverse, well-trained, and multicultural workforce. Faced with a decrease in general interest in engineering careers and an increase in demand for engineers, companies worldwide are looking beyond the traditional pool of talent (largely men) and targeting the other half of the population—women. It is time to reexamine the approaches used to recruit and retain women in the engineering professions, to examine the business case for diversifying the workforce, to consider the incentives for educational institutions and corporations to increase the participation of underrepresented groups, and to create new ways of thinking about the engineering professions in terms of the added value brought by the talents and skills of underrepresented groups.
To meet the challenges of a shrinking talent pool, demographic shifts, and a greater demand for engineers, the Global Alliance has been established to create a viable structure for collaboration among industry, higher education, government, and professional associations worldwide. After further formalization of the structure of the Global Alliance, it will conduct research, provide technical assistance and training on how to diversify the workforce, and provide a number of other services, including methods of worldwide database compatibility, conferences and seminars, a cadre of experts, and publications. The Alliance is particularly committed to increasing the participation of women worldwide and also recognizes the need to consider other areas of diversity, including social groups, ethnicity, age, discipline, languages, and cultures.


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