American Society of Mechanical Engineering
Thomas G. Loughlin, Executive Director
On behalf of ASME, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to submit written testimony for the National Academies conference, Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia, which will take place on June 7-8, 2012, and will bring together academic administrators, federal officials and policy makers to engage in discussions aimed at increasing the representation and career advancement of women of color in academic science, engineering and medicine.
Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a 120,000-member professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing, and skills development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education, and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world. ASME conducts one of the world's largest technical publishing operations, holds more than 30 technical conferences and 200 professional development courses each year, and sets some 600 industrial and manufacturing standards.
ASME is committed to diversity and inclusion within our organization and to achieving a truly diverse engineering workforce. This commitment includes representation and career advancement of women of color. Diversity is a key component of ASME’s mission statement: “To serve diverse global communities by advancing, disseminating and applying engineering knowledge for improving the quality of life; and communicating the excitement of engineering.” Diversity is included among the Core Values of ASME: “Embrace diversity and respect the dignity and culture of all people.” ASME also has a specific Society policy on diversity and inclusion, which helps to guide the Society’s actions.
ASME’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion Strategy promotes diversity within ASME and also within the broader profession as a whole. This is done by advocating and advising ASME’s leadership on inclusive excellence, valuing global diversity, and developing solutions to improve the quality of life.
Programmatically, ASME provides diversity and inclusion training for all staff and volunteers, including the nominating committee who selects ASME leadership like the Society’s President. Our Diversity Action Grant program assists student sections in sponsoring events that promote the diversity and inclusion of women and under-represented minorities in ASME Student Sections and in mechanical engineering. ASME is also very active on diversity issues in the public policy area. Since 2005, ASME has partnered with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) on various activities, i.e., SWE’s diversity-focused Capitol Hill Day or briefings for the House Diversity and Innovation (D&I) Caucus. In February, ASME also revised its General Diversity Position Paper entitled, “Diversity and Inclusion in the STEM Workforce: A Strategic Global Imperative.” In this paper, ASME urges policymakers to strengthen and re-examine
oversight of existing legislation and programs aimed specifically at broadening participation by under-represented groups in STEM fields, including those which:
• Increase public awareness of STEM careers, including supporting efforts to foster outreach to all students, teachers, parents, and K-12 guidance counselors;
• Enable all students to have access to a rigorous STEM curriculum, hands-on laboratory experiences, and informal learning that increases academic performance and interest in STEM careers;
• Offer incentives and mentoring for women and under-represented groups to pursue STEM coursework and careers, including teaching careers, and continue to provide professional achievement opportunities post-graduation and throughout their careers;
• Provide all members of society the opportunity to fully participate in the STEM pipeline and workforce by addressing current obstacles to the participation of women and underrepresented groups in the STEM workforce, as well as ensuring to acknowledge past accomplishments.
Again, we appreciate the opportunity to submit written testimony. If you, or your staff, have any questions or if we can be of further assistance, please contact Melissa Carl, Government Relations Manager, at 202/785-7380 or firstname.lastname@example.org.