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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academy of Engineering. 2014. Advancing Diversity in the US Industrial Science and Engineering Workforce: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13512.
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Appendix A

Statement of Task

Committee on Capitalizing on the Diversity of the Science and Engineering Workforce in Industry

An ad hoc committee was organized to conduct a study on how to maximize the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women and underrepresented minorities in industries that have a large science and engineering (S&E) component. The committee focused on the following questions which were used to plan this workshop:

(1) What is the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the industrial workforce? Do women and underrepresented minorities hold significant leadership positions? Does this differ by sector? What is the rate of change? Is it sufficient relative to the overall workforce population of women and underrepresented minorities?

(2) What is the typical route of advancement in science and engineering firms? Do the routes of advancement for women and minorities in industry differ from majority men in industry? Have the efforts by industry to recruit greater participation of women and minorities been effective? Do the critical points for advancement in technical careers differ from that of nontechnical careers?

(3) What current challenges exist in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women and underrepresented minority scientists and engineers working in industry? Do these challenges differ by S&E sector? Large and small corporations? Research and technical versus business and management? Do corporations and individual scientists and engineers hold the same view?

(4) How do workplace recruitment, retention, and advancement policies influence the competitiveness of individual firms in the marketplace? The competitiveness of industrial sectors? Are there exemplars that illustrate this?

(5) How can industrial policies encourage the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women and underrepresented minorities? What works and what does not work? Does one type of policy work better than another (e.g., “push” vs. “pull strategies”)? What are the best practices? Are they distinctive for women? For underrepresented groups? For women of color?

(6) Are there best practices in industry that could be replicated in academia to increase the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women and underrepresented groups?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academy of Engineering. 2014. Advancing Diversity in the US Industrial Science and Engineering Workforce: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13512.
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Thousands of gifted individuals, including women and underrepresented minorities, remain a disproportionally small fraction of those in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. 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. However, nothing short of a game-changing environment must be created to harness the talent of those not fully represented in the STEM workforce.

Advancing Diversity in the US Industrial Science and Engineering Workforce is the summary of a workshop held in May, 2012 by the National Academy of Engineering, 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. The workshop provided a forum for leaders from industry, academia, and professional associations to share best practices and innovative approaches to recruiting, retaining, and advancing women and underrepresented minorities in the scientific and engineering workforce throughout the nation's industries.

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