On March 22nd, 2017, I participated in a special program at NASCC: The Steel Conference entitled “Solutions for Equity in the Workplace.” The panel discussion, led by Kristy Davis of AISC, included Babette Freund, President of Universal Steel Co., Heidi Brunette, COO of Steel Fabricators, Inc, and myself. Together, we covered a wide range of topics regarding diversity and equity within the structural steel industry, as seen through our perspectives as steel fabrication and engineering design professionals. The panel topics, which were initially organized around recent findings from the 2016 SE3 Study, were expanded to address such questions as “What does diverse talent mean for your company? And what is the potential impact if this is lost or unbalanced?” After establishing our individual definitions of diversity and its benefits, the conversation shifted towards a discussion of ways we can improve retention across the industry.
The panel session, which was attended by approximately 60 people on the first morning of the Steel Conference, lasted for 75 minutes and preceded a catered lunch, where attendees were encouraged to engage in discussion and debate amongst themselves. Thank you to AISC for organizing the program, and inviting me to participate!
Rose McClure, Senior Engineer
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
The SEAONC SE3 Committee