The NAE's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • The National Academy of Engineering, in unison with the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, embraces the core principles of DEI and celebrates the very differences that make us stronger, smarter, and more effective as individuals, professionals and members of society.


    DEI stands for diversity, equity and inclusion. Diversity is defined as the broad spectrum of experiences, cultures, and physical attributes within a community; Equity is the absence of barriers, biases, and obstacles that impede equal access, fair treatment, and opportunity for contribution by all members of a community; and Inclusion is a culture comprising a framework that allows an individual to effectively engage and thrive in a community.  In the workplace, just as in society, DEI is vital to creating and maintaining a safe and successful environment in which all people can flourish personally and professionally.

    Engineers possess the power to facilitate real change in society. Increasing equitable and inclusive practices in engineering not only strengthens the profession but accelerates progress. The NAE’s commitment to embracing diversity, seeking equity and driving inclusion is unwavering as we work to build a future where we are all valued equally.

    See NAE President's statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    John L. Anderson

Today’s Engineers

Join NAE as we celebrate NAE members and other pioneering engineers who have broken through boundaries and risen above obstacles to become leaders. Their perseverance has enabled them to become engineering professionals whose contributions to their fields of expertise have made a positive impact on society. The NAE is working to reduce and remove boundaries and obstacles, which will enable future generations of engineers to create a better society for all.

Dr. Paula T. Hammond
Department Head and Institute Professor 
Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
As a woman I have a different perspective on the different kinds of health problems that might be really important to address …  Read more

General Lester L. Lyles, USAF (Ret.)
The Lyles Group
Just the word engineer, to me, speaks of excellence, it speaks of challenges, it speaks of abilities … I didn’t come from a family of engineers or even people with college degrees. My father was just laborer but a very, very dedicated hardworker…Read more

Dr. Corale L. Brierley
Biotechnologist/Extractive Metallurgical Engineer 
Founder of Brierley Consultancy, LLC
Several factors strengthened my engineering experience: being self-reliant, being imaginative, and getting a quality education…  Read more

Dr. Carol K. Hall
Chemical Engineering Professor
North Carolina State University
I feel privileged to be in engineering. We get to solve problems that are interesting to look at, and that have an impact on people, on society, on human health…Read more

Tackling complex problems to make the world a better place is at the heart of engineering.

  • Q
    What does being an engineer mean to you?

    I am motivated by my desire to make the world a more just and equitable place. My chosen vehicle for making a difference has been engineering and science research and education. Throughout my career, I applied what I learned as an engineer to researching sickle cell anemia, a painful and deadly disease that disproportionately impacts Black people. I wanted to do what I could to contribute to finding novel therapeutic approaches to this disease and contribute to my community.

Read Dr. Gilda Barabino's Interview
Dr. Gilda Barabino

Dr. Gilda Barabino, President, Olin College

Profiles of Today’s Engineers will be updated regularly. We encourage you to check back frequently for new information, updates, and profiles as they become available.

Events and Activities

As part of the NAE’s DEI initiative, we are showcasing activities that celebrate and strengthen DEI within our membership, our organization, the engineering profession, and the work engineers do. 

  • President
    Created by NAE President John L. Anderson as a presidential advisory committee, the RJ&E Committee will advise him and the NAE Council on ways that the engineering community and the NAE can address issues related to racial injustice and inequity.
  • eGirl
    EngineerGirl is the NAE's primary outreach program to support girls and help them understand the opportunities available to them in engineering. The EngineerGirl program is designed to bring national attention to the exciting opportunities that engineering represents for girls and women. It includes a resource website that features over 500 women engineers who share their stories and expertise, a writing contest to engage students in grades 3-12, and a high school ambassadors program that supports high school girls making a difference for younger girls in their communities.
  • FOE
    Established in 1995, Frontiers of Engineering brings together a select group of emerging engineering leaders from industry, academe, and government labs to discuss pioneering technical work and leading edge research in various engineering fields and industry sectors. There are five Frontiers of Engineering programs: the US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium held annually, and a rotating schedule of FOE symposia with Germany, Japan, China, and the European Union.
  • IDEEA is a Center for programs that inform, inspire, and provide opportunities for K-12 marginalized youth and their caregivers to learn about and engage with engineering. Working closely with educators, communities, and families, IDEEA programs will highlight the impacts of engineering in society and encourage youth to consider the rewards of an engineering degree and career.
  • CESER will help expand the understanding of how cultural, ethical, social circumstances, and the natural and constructed environment affect the practice of engineering. It will promote consideration of these elements through its studies and workshops and engagement with engineers, educators, industry leaders, professional societies, government entities, and the public.
  • PEER will conduct studies, workshops, and other activities focused on equitable and inclusive engineering education and related research at the precollege and higher education levels. This program will consider the entire educational system, contextual influences on that system, and how elements of the system affect each other. PEER will bring together researchers and practitioners in engineering education and publish analyses to guide change.
  • Trajectories Cover
    The Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM) serves as a resource for organizations and individuals seeking expert information and analysis about the status of gender equity in science, engineering, and medicine and as an institutional focal point in support of complementary activities across the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). In its work to achieve its mission, the committee has published several consensus studies and workshop proceedings that support national efforts to improve gender equity, diversity, and inclusion in science, engineering, and medicine. CWSEM operates under the oversight of the presidents of the three Academies.
    The goal of the Connecting Efforts workshop is to provide actionable insights to the engineering education community about existing and potential new approaches for increasing coordination and communication among the various levels of the engineering education system to boost the number of minority engineering undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students and faculty in US colleges and universities. Specifically, the workshop will explore existing and potential collaborations between extramural initiatives that support under-represented minorities (URM) engineering student success and universities seeking to recruit and retain these students in undergraduate and advanced engineering education, including as faculty. As part of this objective, the workshop discussions and materials provided beforehand will (i) elucidate opportunities for and challenges to identifying URM undergraduate and graduate students who are prepared and potentially interested in pursuing advanced engineering education and (ii) evaluate how data systems and technologies are or could be used to connect and match URM students at all levels with appropriate opportunities in engineering higher education.
    The NAE engaged engineering deans and faculty, admissions staff, and Sharing Admissions Practices Photo.png researchers in relevant areas in a collaborative process to highlight and encourage the diffusion of effective admissions practices that improve diversity in engineering education. This workshop-based project (1) provided national recognition to institutions that are effectively diversifying engineering education using admissions policies, (2) provided guidance to institutions that are developing or researching admissions policies to advance diversity but have not yet met with success, and (3) defined directions for future research on both best practices in engineering admissions criteria, metrics, and policies and how those practices fit into the larger system of recruiting and retaining engineering students from all backgrounds. In May, 2021, the NAE hosted a virtual workshop where information, expertise, mentoring, and facilitated discussions and collaboration helped attendees advance their work and develop effective plans for their own institutions. The broad dissemination of both the workshop session videos and the written summary of the workshop discussion will enable deans, administrators, and others who did not attend the workshop to learn from the presentations and discussions. 
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