On Wednesday, October 26, 2022, The Institute for Engineering Education & Innovation conducted its Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Dr. Colin Brown, CEng FIMechE FIMMM.
The title of his talk was “Engineering Skills Supply and the Gender Challenge.”
As a result of an increasingly technological society and changing demographics, Texas, like many states and countries worldwide, is experiencing a shortage of engineering skills.
The combination of an increasingly technological society and demographic reality means that Texas, like many states and countries worldwide, is facing an engineering skills shortage. Education and training are designed to be diverse and inclusive of developing the maximum quantity and quality of talent.
The talk focused on what we know about the engineering skills needs and, specifically, what we can do to increase female participation to meet them as effectively as possible.
As part of his recommendations, Dr. Brown advised faculty to develop and support the adoption of quality benchmarks that would encourage the retention of female engineers in their early and mid-career stages. He also urged faculty to identify and emulate how the most-effective employers successfully address career flashpoints, such as returning to work after maternity leave and conducting confidential annual staff surveys on the fairness of recognition, reward, professional support, and work-social activity.
Students, faculty, and staff from engineering gained valuable insights from the talk, which supported and highlighted the need for more diversity in engineering.
Dr. Colin Brown is a Chartered Engineer who made his career initially in the industry as a technical specialist with Rolls-Royce and BP and latterly as a company director in the third sector with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. In 2018, he founded his own company, Five Tribes Ltd, to improve diversity within engineering. In his current work, he focuses on education technology and its use to enhance teachers’ and students’ teaching and learning experiences.