Contributions to Diversity

Expectations of the Contributions to Diversity Statement

In the context of an engineering faculty search, diversity and outreach activities are activities that relate to making engineering (and more generally the STEM fields) accessible to groups historically under-represented in engineering, as well as to the general public. The statement of “Contributions to Diversity” is meant for the candidate to describe his or her:

  1. Awareness of the barriers that exist for groups historically under-represented in engineering;
  2. Past efforts in diversity and outreach activities;
  3. Future plans for diversity and outreach activities;

Of these, the candidate’s past efforts are given vastly greater weight than merely showing awareness of barriers or stating future plans. The candidate’s effort, initiative, and creativity will all be considered.

Examples of such activities are listed below:
Items 1-7 below exemplify what very junior candidates (not yet holding a PhD) might engage in.

Less junior candidates (people already holding a faculty position) would be expected to engage in some of these activities, but also would be expected to go beyond these, as exemplified by items 8-12 below.

Note: There are many other types of activities which would qualify as contributions to diversity; this is far from being a comprehensive list.

  1. Mentoring engineering students who are women or under represented minorities (URMs)
  2. Serving as an officer of a chapter of SWE, SHPE, NSBE, SACNAS, etc. or attending a conference of one of these groups
  3. STEM outreach to K-12 students by making presentations about engineering in schools, tutoring children in math/science, helping with math/science tournaments, giving tours of campus labs to K-12 students, participating with activities such as Mathcounts, Girls Who Code, etc.
  4. Demonstrating science or engineering experiments at a science museum, Science Expo Day, etc.
  5. Participating in panels at conferences on “Women in STEM” or “Work-life balance in academia” etc.
  6. Tutoring math/science in prisons
  7. Organizing student support groups for women or URM engineering students
  8. Serving as an adviser for a chapter of SWE, SHPE, NSBE, SACNAS, etc. or organizing a workshop or panel at a conference of one of these groups
  9. Serving on campus committees related to diversity, status of women, etc. (list accomplishments for which one is specifically responsible)
  10. Grant support received for STEM outreach or diversity activities
  11. Organizing panels or workshops at technical conferences which are aimed at supporting women or URMs in engineering
  12. Publishing articles, editorials, etc. related to women and URMs in engineering