Overlooked Diversity – Religion, Faith, & Spirituality

The following is a post I wrote for the Graduate Society of Women Engineers blog – check out the original post here.

When we discuss the many identities we carry in our lives, the most commonly listed are often race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and disability status. When we discuss diversity and inclusion, our efforts often center on one of, if not the intersection of, these identities. However, one core identity for many of us has seemed to slip through our collective radar – religion and spirituality. “In an era when colleges are expanding their engagement of diversity issues, and at a time when religion plays a central role in public life and global affairs, religion continues to be the dimension of diversity that many institutions leave out.” This is a central claim in Eboo Patel’s article “Faith Is The Diversity Issue Ignored by College Campuses” published in The Chronicle of Higher Education in October 2018. In the article, she discusses the possibilities and needs on campuses to recognize this difference. Additionally, she asserts that efforts for religious inclusivity on campus are underfunded, if funded at all. She writes about the transformative possibilities of having interfaith dialogues and unpacking stereotypes and prejudices. As soon as I read this it seemed to immediately ‘click’ – and I’ve become pretty passionate about the subject. Eboo Patel is right – religious diversity is often left out. Why should we start paying attention to this?

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Tips for Men on how to be Allies to Women in Engineering

This is a blog post myself and Rachel Tenney wrote for the Graduate Society of Women  Engineers blog. Check out the original post here.

Engineering is a male dominated field. There’s really no dispute about that. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 15.9% of employed engineering and architectural professionals are women. SWE and GradSWE are open to people of all genders – this includes men. Men, being in the majority, can play arguably an extremely important role in making engineering a discipline which is inclusive, welcoming, and celebrating of women and other underrepresented genders. Today, nearly 50% of women in engineering will experience sexual harassment by male peers – it will take male allies to bring this number to 0%.

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Book Review – Unapologetic by Charlene A. Carruthers

Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene A. Carruthers. Beacon Press, 2018, 192pp. $22.95 hardcover.

Organizing for justice is a constant inter-generational effort, and organizers are constantly searching for new insights, ideas, and inspiration to meet each generation’s unique social landscape. Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) is a member-based organization of Black activists and organizers age 18 to 35 which engages in political advocacy, organizing, education, leadership development, and direct action. They operate – specifically through what they describe as “a Black queer feminist lens” (BQF). What can we learn from this organization and its leadership? This is a central function of Unapologetic – values and lessons-learned from a seasoned organizer of BYP100. Charlene Carruthers brings forth deeply insightful stories and defines the BQL for readers, embarking on a journey through Black youth organizing history and how it informs her personal approach to activist organizational structure.

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Towards a Gender Expansive Engineering – Part One, What’s the Gender Binary?

The following is a blog post for the Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE) written by myself and Rachel Tenney. You can see it on the GradsWE blog here..

Gender in engineering is an important and much-discussed topic. This might be why you are reading this blog. Organizations such as Society of Women Engineers (SWE) exist specifically due to the underrepresentation and marginalization of women in engineering. However, gender is much more broad than just a simple two-category dichotomy of men and women. We would like to be sure that in our efforts to increase gender inclusion and gender diversity in engineering that we are paying attention to those different from us – women with complicated relationships to gender and nonbinary (third-gender category or otherwise not men/women identified) engineers. This is why SWE is welcoming not only to those who identify as a woman, but to everyone on the gender spectrum – including male allies. This is why we find this to be an important topic to our inclusivity in GradSWE.

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Return of the Elwha

The following is a draft of a paper I am working on. At the moment it is stalled, on the back burner. I am interested in any thoughts, comments, critiques, or paths forward that this line of queer studies engagement in engineering ethics can achieve! Even if this never gets reworked or published, I wish to share this paper I wrote as part of my PHD exams. This is an example of the sort of scholarship I hope to engage in over my career on the side of traditional engineering education research. Engineering ethics is important and is a topic I hope to teach, write about, and research further.

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The trouble of reinforcing gender difference for women in engineering

Raising up role models without addressing misogynist gender-in-engineering culture leaves the root causes of gender discrimination unchecked and off of the hook. Phipps believes that recruitment and role models alone will not challenge gender stereotypes and may actually increase the perceptions of gender based difference.

What is wrong with the mantra and identity of “women engineers” as opposed to “engineers”? Is there trouble in saying boldly and loudly – our gender matters? Yes, and no. It’s complicated. We should talk about it and look at the research!

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Complexity of Nonbinary Inclusion in Engineering Culture

I presented the following paper on how rhetoric of diversity and inclusion does not go far enough for nonbinary students and peers – it requires us all to have a radical shift in our conceptualization of gender, no matter where we are as engineers.

This was presented at ASEE 125th Annual Exposition in Salt Lake City. Check it out, let me know what you think! Paper ID #22710

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