Advancing Diversity in the
US Industrial Science and Engineering Workforce
SUMMARY OF A WORKSHOP
Rita S. Guenther and Catherine J. Didion, Rapporteurs
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street NW Washington, DC 20001
NOTICE: This publication has been reviewed according to procedures approved by a National Academy of Engineering report review process. Publication of this work signifies that it is judged a competent and useful contribution worthy of public consideration, but does not imply endorsement of conclusions or recommendations by the National Academy of Engineering. The interpretations and conclusions in such publications are those of the authors and do not purport to represent the views of the council, officers, or staff of the National Academy of Engineering.
This project was supported by the Northrop Grumman Corporation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations that provided support for the project.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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COMMITTEE ON CAPITALIZING ON THE DIVERSITY OF THE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING WORKFORCE IN INDUSTRY
AMY E. ALVING, Co-Chair, Member, Board of Directors, Fannie Mae, and former Chief Technology Officer & Senior Vice President, Science Applications International Corporation
ANN L. LEE (NAE)*, Co-Chair, Vice President, Process Development, Genentech, Inc.
RODNEY C. ADKINS (NAE), Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy, International Business Machines Corporation
ROBERT P. CASILLAS, Vice President, Strategic Global Health & Security, MRIGlobal
CELESTE A. CLARK, Consultant, Abraham Clark Consulting, LLC, and Board of Directors, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
RICHARD B. FREEMAN, Herbert Ascherman Professor of Economics, Harvard University, and Faculty Co-Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
MAURICIO FUTRAN (NAE), Vice President, Process and Advanced Analytics, Johnson & Johnson
LUENY MORELL, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, New Engineering University, and Program Manager (ret.), Strategy Team, Hewlett Packard Laboratories
RICHARD D. STEPHENS, Senior Vice President (ret.), Human Resources and Administration, The Boeing Company
HERMAN B. WHITE, JR., Senior Scientist, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
PROCTOR REID, Director, Program Office, NAE
CATHERINE DIDION, Senior Program Officer, NAE
RITA S. GUENTHER, Program Officer, Policy & Global Affairs, NRC
CAMERON H. FLETCHER, Senior Editor, NAE
SARA FRUEH, Communications Writer, NRC
WEI JING, Research Associate, NAE and Policy & Global Affairs, NRC
*Member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).
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PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Over the past several decades, two intertwining trends have caused academic, industrial, and political leaders to think carefully, creatively, and critically about the future of the scientific, engineering, and technical workforce in the United States. The first of these trends is the increasingly dynamic pace of change in the global economy in which the United States must compete. Second, the human resource base of the United States is increasingly demographically diverse. In order to not only compete but also succeed in the global economy, the nation must make better use of the scientific and technical talent in its diverse population. At the nexus of these trends are thousands of gifted individuals, including women and underrepresented minorities, who remain a disproportionally small fraction of those in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.
According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), of the 19 million people trained or working in STEM and related fields or occupations, 53 percent, or 10.2 million, worked in industry in 2008.1 Industry, as the largest employer category of those with STEM backgrounds, stands to benefit considerably from greater inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities in the workforce.2 However, significant challenges remain in recruiting, retaining, and advancing these valuable employees. Given these global and national trends, nothing short of a game-changing environment must be created to harness the talent of those not fully represented in the STEM workforce.
The effort, of which this workshop summary is a part, began with the 2007 National Academies report Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future3 and continued with the 2011 National Academies’ report Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads.4 This workshop, entitled “Creating a Game-Changing Environment for All in the Industrial Workforce,” was envisioned as a continuation of these efforts, focusing on the needs and challenges facing industry in particular, and it is intended to facilitate further discussion and actions to address these complex issues.
Convened on May 21, 2012, by the National Academy of Engineering in Washington, DC, the workshop provided a forum for leaders from industry, academia, and professional associations to share best practices and innovative approaches to recruiting, retaining, and
1“Diversity in Science and Engineering Employment in Industry.” Presentation by Jaquelina C. Falkenheim. Creating a Game-Changing Environment for All in the Industrial Workforce: A Workshop, May 21, 2012, at the National Academies, Washington, DC.
2See Appendix F: Jaquelina C. Falkenheim and Joan S. Burrelli. 2012. “Diversity in Science and Engineering Employment in Industry.” InfoBrief. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation/National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. Available at www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf12311/ (accessed on February 8, 2013).
3Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington: National Academies Press.
4Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington: National Academies Press.
advancing women and underrepresented minorities in the scientific and engineering workforce throughout the nation’s industries.
The presentations and discussions at the workshop considered some of the most recently available NSF data on women and underrepresented minorities in scientific and engineering fields in industry and identified gaps in the data. The workshop also provided an opportunity for open and frank discussion among participants representing a spectrum of perspectives, although not all aspects of the Statement of Task for the workshop (Appendix A) could be thoroughly addressed due to time constraints. Further, as stated, the aim of the workshop was to produce new and innovative solutions to address this problem. Workshop participants offered many ideas, but more work clearly needs to be done on this subject to fully reach a “game-changing environment.” One opportunity for additional work would be to obtain more detail on industry practices; industry executives at the workshop shared their experiences in varying levels of detail, as this summary reflects.
The purpose of the discussion was not to achieve consensus but rather to bring to the fore innovative ideas and creative approaches. Consistent with this goal, a list of literature and resources made available to workshop participants is included in this report (Appendix G). This summary was prepared by the rapporteurs as a factual summary of the workshop presentations and discussions.
This report has been reviewed in draft form by persons chosen for their diverse perspectives and scientific expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for quality and objectivity. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We thank the following individuals for their review of the report:
Cathleen Barton, Intel Corporation
Melissa Carl, American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Roger Humphreville, BP America, Inc.
Robin Jeffries, Google, Inc. (retired)
Saundra Johnson Austin, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc.
Caroline Simard, School of Medicine, Stanford University
Although the reviewers listed provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of the report was coordinated by Greg Pearson, senior program officer at NAE, and was overseen by Elisabeth M. Drake (NAE member), researcher emerita for Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative. Appointed by NAE, the monitor was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and the institution. This material is based on work supported by Northrop Grumman Corporation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Northrop Grumman Corporation or the National Academy of Engineering.