This quarter SEAONC SE3 hosted two events and two book clubs. The Racial Equity Task group published three Student Topic Briefs on the Civil Education Education Experience which can be accessed on the SEAONC SE3 website. The Fourth Long Term Mentorship Program launched with an in-person kick-off event on February 15th, 2023 at the Oakland SGH office. The DEI Task Group is making progress on a new report based on a survey of firms on their non-salary benefits, proposed to be published in the spring. DEI is also coordinating an “Parenting Charette” event in the Spring / Summer.
If you are interested in joining the SEAONC SE3 committee, please email us at email@example.com.
STUDENT TOPIC BRIEFS | Civil Engineering Student Experience Survey
SEAONC SE3 published three topic briefs presenting data from the 2021 survey of undergraduate civil engineering students from around the United States. The purpose of this survey was to understand the current undergraduate civil engineering experience, including how students were introduced to engineering, challenges they face throughout their education and their career aspirations. These reports are a wonderful resource for all structural engineering professionals (students, those in practice, early career professionals, managers, firm leaders, faculty / educators, advisors, AEC community leaders). Read all three reports here.
SEAONC LONG TERM MENTORSHIP PROGRAM KICK-OFF
The SEAONC SE3 Mentorship Task Group was excited to host an in-person kick-off event on February 15th, 2023, at SGH in Oakland for the Long Term Mentorship Program. This year, there are 25 mentors and 74 mentees enrolled in the program, consisting of 25 mentorship groups. The goal of the program is to create mentee-mentor groups across age, experience, and firms, to encourage less experienced engineers to gain strategic guidance and career advice. The launch event gave an opportunity for groups to meet and discuss their goals for the rest of the program.
PARENTING CHARETTE | Spring / Summer Event
This upcoming event will provide a space for SEAONC members to interact with their peers and experienced facilitators to determine how to best navigate being a parent while moving their career forward. Participants will have the opportunity to connect, learn, and share insights in one of four focus groups: 1) Expecting parents, 2) New parents, 3) Parents with older kids, and 4) Firm leaders who will focus on how to support parents on their staff. Insights from each group will be recorded and provided to the SEAONC membership via a brief write up.
SEAONC SE3 BIMONTHLY BOOK CLUB MEETINGS
SEAONC SE3 is looking for volunteers to choose and/or lead our next book club meeting on Thursday, April 13th! If previous book club meetings have inspired you to share an interesting book, article, video, or podcast related to DEI in the workplace, this is your opportunity to shine and share the knowledge with your SEAONC community! Let us know if you have something in mind by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 2023 Book Club Meeting
In honor of Black History Month, the Racial Equity Book Club discussed racial equity in the workplace and action items that individuals and organizations can implement as a result of lessons learned. Other topics that were discussed: Microaggressions in the workplace; Recruitment and retention; and Empowering BIPOC communities and other marginalized groups.
The following resources were provided to the attendees in advance of the book club meeting
Winter Quarterly Update
This quarter SEAONC SE3 hosted two events and two book clubs. Concurrently, the group made significant progress on the Student Topic Briefs which can be accessed on the SEAONC SE3 website. Additionally, the Long Term Mentorship Group is being launched for its fourth year in 2023. The Long Term Mentorship will start up February 2023 and the sign ups end January 10th, 2023. If you are interested in participating, please complete this brief survey! If you are interested in joining the SEAONC SE3 committee, please email us at email@example.com.
SE3 & University Series Speed Mentorship Program
Over 40 students and young structural design professionals participated in a virtual speed mentorship event. There were 14 experienced mentors from the Bay Area engineering community and all folks had a fabulous time.
INNOVATE YOUR CAREER
In early November, SEAONC SE3 in conjunction with the Business Forum hosted a virtual event where four panelists shared how they have used structural engineering to make a broad impact on the built environment. More specifically, advice was also provided on how each individual can make an impact as well.
SEAONC SE3 BIMONTHLY BOOK CLUB MEETINGS
SEAONC SE3 is looking for volunteers to choose and/or lead our next book club meeting on Thursday, February 9th! If previous book club meetings have inspired you to share an interesting book, article, video, or podcast related to DEI in the workplace, this is your opportunity to shine and share the knowledge with your SEAONC community! Let us know if you have something in mind by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 2022 Book Club Meeting
October book club tackled the topic of The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting. Along with defining the terms, the following articles were suggested as preparation and are offered here for further consideration for those unable to attend live.
December 2022 Book Club Meeting
To close out 2022, SEAONC SE3 discussed the The Authority Gap, which asks why women are not afforded the same level of respect when compared to men. Why are women’s words and deeds not carrying the same weight when compared to men? Not only is the question asked, but potential solutions were considered as posited by Mary Ann Sieghart in her book called The Authority Gap. Many thanks to Gwen Searer for leading the discussion in December!
Fall Quarterly Update
The SEAONC SE3 Committee is back in action with our programming in full swing. Continue reading for opportunities to participate in our upcoming events. If you are interested in joining the SEAONC SE3 committee, please email us at email@example.com.
ENGINEERING INCLUSIVE ENGINEERS WORKSHOP
The two-part series Engineering Inclusive Engineers Workshop wrapped up last month. This virtual workshop provided attendees with tools and resources to create and maintain cultures of equity and inclusion within our organizations. The goals of this workshop were creating opportunities for engineers to learn more about JEDI and how JEDI can bring value to our firms. The first part focused on introducing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion concepts. The second part focused on Identifying and Disrupting Systemic Inequities in Engineering Organizations. This workshop series was facilitated by Dr. Yvette E. Pearson, ASCE Fellow, from The PEER Group.
SE3 VIRTUAL FALL SPEED MENTORSHIP EVENT: SAVE THE DATE & CALL FOR MENTORS
SE3 is partnering with SEAONC’s University Series program to host a virtual speed mentorship event for college students and early career professionals to learn from and network with experienced engineers, who will serve as mentors. This event is tentatively set for Thursday, November 17th from 5-6:30pm. If you are interested in participating as a mentor, please contact SE3 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEAONC SE3 WILL BE AT THE NCSEA SUMMIT IN CHICAGO!
SEAONC SE3 Co-Chairs Kaat Ceder and Priscilla Nguyen will be presenting SEAONC SE3’s research, which focused on the racial demographics of the civil/structural engineering pathways. Stop by our session on Racial Demographics Study of Civil/Structural Engineering Pathways, which is scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd from 1-2pm. We hope to see you in Chicago!
The SEAONC Structural Engineering, Engagement, and Equity (SE3) Committee held its 2022 Symposium in-person on June 16, 2022 at the Brower Center in Berkeley entitled The Past, Present, and Future of DEI in Structural Engineering. The goal of this symposium was to provide clear, actionable goals and resources for attendees looking to advance their DEI impact to the next level–whether that be their first step or if they had been previously involved in these efforts.
The half-day symposium kicked off with an inspiring keynote address given by past and current SEAONC SE3 chairs (Natalie Tse, Nick Sherrow-Groves, and Kaat Ceder); the speakers shared how SEAONC SE3’s goals and programming have evolved throughout the years and where the committee is going as new leaders set their eyes on the future. The keynote address was then followed by a presentation given by Priscilla Nguyen, entitled Civil and Structural Engineering Pathways: A Closer Look at Undergraduates, which summarized past research completed by the Racial Equity Task group and provided action items to address the underrepresentation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in our profession. The results of much of this work can be found on SEAONC SE3's Publications page.
After the initial presentations, the attendees attended one of three concurrent breakout sessions. In The Structural Engineer’s Role in a Sustainable & Resilient SF Bay Area session, three AEC industry panelists (Frances Yang, Dr. Laurie Johnson, and Sarah Rege) shared their thoughts on the human and community impact of sustainable and resilient design. In the Equitable and Community-Oriented Design session, three AEC professionals (David Mar, Joy Wei, and Julia Weatherspoon) summarized their experiences working on and delivering projects with a community focus and/or targeting more equitable outcomes. In the Creating and Maintaining Internal DEI Initiatives: An Open Forum session, four speakers (Hayley Proctor, Jen Gross, Rachel Cohen, and Tiffany Chatmon) shared their experiences and provided tips in implementing, adapting, and/or maintaining DEI programs at their respective offices and/or firms.
Following a brief coffee break, the attendees participated in a workshop entitled Active Allyship in the Workplace, which was facilitated by The PEER Group. The goal of this workshop was to enhance participants’ abilities to engage equitably in the profession while interacting with peers and clients and in how they practice engineering. This workshop was the first of a three-part series entitled Engineering Inclusive Engineers. The next two sessions are scheduled to take place virtually in August and in September - keep an eye out for the registration emails!
After the workshop, the attendees gathered in the Goldman Theater for the Firm Leader DEI Cohorts Program Panel Discussion. The panelists of this session consisted of four SEAONC firm leaders (Ann Coleman, Eric Long, Stefanie Rae Arizabel, and Thuy Fontelera) who participated in a year-long program called SEAONC SE3’s Firm Leader DEI Cohorts: Driving Innovation through DEI Strategies. The panelists shared lessons learned, accomplishments, and reflections on barriers they encountered while developing DEI initiatives at their firms and more broadly within the structural engineering community. More about the lessons learned from the Firm Leader Cohort program can be found in the program summary report here.
The symposium wrapped up with motivational Closing Remarks by Pradeep Jhamnani who encouraged attendants to take action and make our profession more diverse and inclusive. To conclude this eventful day, the participants enjoyed a networking social with food and beverages alongside peers and speakers.
The SE3 Committee is deeply grateful to all who participated in the 2022 SEAONC SE3 Symposium! Also, the SE3 Committee sends a heartfelt thank you to the speakers, volunteers, and organizers who helped make this sold out event filled with inspiration and a desire to drive change, a very memorable success. And finally, a big thank you to SEAONC for funding the Symposium!
More in-depth session descriptions and speaker bios can be found here. Photos captured during the Symposium by Tue Nam Ton (TNT) and sponsored by Computers & Structures, Inc. can be found here. Resources mentioned throughout the Symposium can be found here.
2020-2021 Year In Review
SEAONC SE3’s 2020-2021 year, led by committee chair Tiffany Hwang, was held online for its entire duration. Despite the challenges of creating virtual-only SEAONC programming, the committee focused on carrying out SEAONC SE3’s pledges related to racial justice outlined in our June 2020 statement through the newly formed Racial Equity Task Group, and continued our efforts through the Mentorship and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) task groups. The SEAONC SE3 Committee had a very productive year, having expanded its network by connecting with professionals and advocates throughout the state, hosted several successful virtual events, and continued to develop new resources that contribute to our mission to advance the profession.
Our 2020-2021 committee highlights are as follows:
Firm Leader DEI Cohort Program
Starting in February 2021, SEAONC SE3 hosted a yearlong Firm Leader DEI Cohort Program, led by Hayley Proctor, Brenna Marcoux and Curtis Siegfried. In this program, 16 SEAONC firm leaders met monthly in three cohorts and met quarterly with facilitator Viva Asmelash to discuss topics related to DEI recruiting and hiring practices, inclusive office culture, engaging employees in public service/DEI efforts, and developing DEI-conscious leaders.
Speed Mentorship Events
In August 2020 and June 2021, SEAONC SE3 hosted virtual Speed Mentorship events, led by Brenna Marcoux and Karen Vogt-Wilcox, respectively. Students, interns, and entry-level engineers all met with one or two mentors in three breakout sessions, with a total of 11 mentors and over 40 mentees in each event.
Monthly DEI Spotlights
In 2020-2021, Kaat Ceder authored the monthly DEI Spotlights, which were a new addition for the SEAONC Post. Each DEI Spotlight highlighted various DEI topics related specifically to the structural engineering community.
Bi-Monthly Racial Equity Book Club Meetings
The Racial Equity task group also hosted bi-monthly Racial Equity Book Club meetings to discuss topics surrounding being Black in America, whiteness, Asian Americans, the cost of racism, housing access equity, and Native American cultural burning and land rights.
Game Night with SEAONC YMF and SHPE-SFBA
In April 2021, SEAONC SE3 co-hosted a casual Jeopardy game night with SEAONC YMF and the SF Bay Area chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) to encourage connections among like-minded engineering organizations.
Volunteering with Girls Inc
In February 2021, Karen Vogt-Wilcox organized a virtual “field trip” for middle school girls in partnership with the non-profit Girls Inc to celebrate Engineers Week. SEAONC SE3 volunteers and middle school girls built gumdrop and toothpick structures and participated in mini-mentoring breakout sessions.
Distribution of Civil Engineering Education Experience Survey
The Racial Equity Task Group also developed and distributed a survey for current civil engineering undergraduate students. Our hope is to gain an understanding of student experiences and what we as professionals can do to better support their career growth and development. We received 285 responses and are looking forward to sharing findings with SEAONC in the coming months.
President’s Message with SEAONC 2020-2021 President Emily Guglielmo
The Racial Equity Task Group jointly authored a President’s Message with SEAONC Past President Emily Guglielmo in October 2020’s newsletter for a call to action to SEAONC members on proactively contributing to racial diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within our profession.
SEAONC SE3 Presentations to Students
SEAONC SE3 presented on our committee, equity in the profession, and about the Racial Demographics of Civil Engineering Pathways in California report to UC Berkeley SEMM students in November 2020 and to college students from various schools during the SEAONC University Spring Series in April 2021.
As part of an effort to improve leadership continuity, 2020-2021 was the first year with a new leadership structure: Chair Tiffany Hwang (SpaceX), Vice Chair Hayley Proctor (WJE), and Past Chairs Brenna Marcoux (Forell | Elsesser) and Rachel Cohen (Forell | Elsesser). Tiffany was excited to pass on the reins to 2021-2022 Chairs Hayley and Curtis Siegfried (Degenkolb), with 2021-2022 Vice Chairs Priscilla Nguyen (Martinez Moore) and Kaat Ceder (WJE). The 2021-2022 year continues with four active task groups, with many of our members taking on leadership positions:
SEAONC SE3 has a full program of events and projects planned for 2022, and would love to hear from anyone interested in helping to bring the best possible programming to our SEAONC community and beyond. Our committee is full of dedicated engineers with a passion for serving our profession. As always, feel free to reach out to the committee with ideas, comments, or questions at email@example.com.
SEAONC SE3 would like to highlight the statement put out by the Structural Engineers Association of Washington's Diversity & Inclusion Committee in response to the ongoing violence against the AAPI community this year.
To our AAPI members:
The D&I committee of SEAW stands with you in light of the senseless and ongoing violence against your community. We want to acknowledge the trauma and pain the community is feeling. These events make us recognize once again that we need to do better: we need to be more loving, we need to treat everyone with respect, and we need to end the racism that feeds this violence. Please reach out to us if you need a safe space to talk through what has happened. We are here to support you through this time.
To our Non-AAPI members:
If you have an AAPI coworker, we encourage you to reach out and make space for them. Some guidelines for how to effectively make space in a conversation can be found here. Remember to not center yourself in the conversation (“something similar happened to me too….”) and to not jump into problem solving mode. If you don’t have any AAPI coworkers, take some time to evaluate why that is. We also encourage you to sign up for a free bystander training being offered this month. Your ability to distract and diffuse a situation could literally be the difference between life and death. Lastly, if you are in management, consider implementing some policies that can help your BIPOC employees deal with the ongoing effects of racism: talk about racism in the office, provide parking/travel reimbursements for employees who don’t feel safe taking public transportation, and provide flexible PTO mental health days when a community is attacked. Work doesn’t happen in a vacuum; we are all a part of this community together. It is our responsibility to keep our community safe, together.
SEAONC SE3’s 2019-2020 year, led by co-chairs Brenna Marcoux and Rachel Cohen, focused on a few main charges: diversity and inclusion, and mentorship. Following our diversity and inclusion launch event: Building an Inclusive Workplace for ALL in the 21st Century that took place in October, 2019 at AIA East Bay, there was a lot of interest from our committee and our SEAONC community in continuing programming around this topic. SEAONC SE3 views the topic of diversity and inclusion to be central to our mission. Mentorship has been a continued charge for our committee since we started. Each year we’ve hosted one to two speed mentorship events, and in 2018, we launched our Long-Term Mentorship program, which we continued last year.
While we were challenged by the Shelter-In-Place order in the Bay Area due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we adapted to provide virtual events and considered our programming to be crucial to the engagement of individuals in our industry, especially during the work-from-home period we find ourselves in. The protests and resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd and many others at the hands of police this summer also refocused our committee’s efforts. We verbalized our commitments to racial justice and started a new subcommittee to carry them out.
SEAONC SE3 hosted a DEI leadership roundtable event on Thursday, October 29, focused on facilitating discussions among firm leaders in northern California about strategies to create a more inclusive workplace and address racial inequities in our industry. With the help of professional DEI consultant Viva Asmelash, we worked with participants to understand the importance of proactive DEI strategies at work and develop solutions and programs within their firms.
Thank you to Applied Technology Council, Arup, COWI, Degenkolb Engineers, Element Structural Engineers, Forell Elsesser Structural Engineers, FTF Engineering, Holmes Structures, KPFF, Liftech Consultants Inc., Maffei Structural Engineering, Martin/Martin, Pivot Structural Engineering, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Tipping Structural Engineers, and ZFA Structural Engineers for their participation in this event. A best practices brief sharing lessons learned with the larger SE community will be coming soon on our website.
Thank you to Stacy Bartoletti, S.E. for highlighting the event in his January 2021 Editorial in STRUCTURE Magazine "Making the Case for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"
The SEAONC SE3 Committee has developed a survey for current civil engineering undergraduate students with the hope of gaining an understanding of their experiences and what we as professionals can do to better support their career growth and development. We are interested in learning how these students first learned about engineering, if they have ever considered switching majors, whether they are considering pursuing a graduate degree, and if they plan to continue pursuing a career in engineering after graduation. The committee is also collecting demographic information (gender, race, Federal Pell Grant eligibility, and first generation status) to determine if there are any trends surrounding the engagement and retention of students of color that we can share with the professional community at large.
With this survey, we hope to answer the following questions:
Link to survey: bit.ly/3dKmaSe
Please share this link with your student connections and encourage them to participate in the survey. Thank you in advance for your assistance! We look forward to sharing the findings from this survey with the A/E/C Community!!
The SEAONC SE3 Committee