U.S. Department of Energy Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Engineering Award

The U.S. Department Energy sponsors the award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Engineering, which recognizes individuals and/or teams who have enthusiastically and resourcefully promoted D, E & I among its EcoCAR team members.

When scoring this award, judges look for the teams’ effort in increasing the diversity of team members; fostering a welcoming and inclusive team environment that is free from bias and discrimination; organizing multicultural activities or events that promote diversity and inclusion within the team and beyond; identifying and addressing systemic barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the team and beyond; and efforts to initiate and coordinate community outreach activities to increase interest in automotive engineering among underrepresented groups.

This year, McMaster University took home the second place award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Engineering. Judges of this award stated that this team should be applauded for its all-female leadership team, which is an impressive example of the inclusive atmosphere for underrepresented minorities in the automotive industry.

All year long, the McMaster EcoCAR Team has led a strong effort to engage diversity-focused organizations in recruitment and engaging diverse engineering communities in automotive engineering. The team also did an outstanding job to not only promote diversity, equity and inclusion, but to embody it. The team went above and beyond in area of Recruitment, Retention, Development and advancement of underrepresented students, and included strategic efforts to welcome individuals from the Women in Engineering Society, EngiQueers, and the National Society of Black Engineers.

McMaster approached their efforts for diversity from a broad perspective – even beyond the norms (race, religion, sex, gender) to include students from different fields of studies and grade levels, as well as mental health as an additional focus area. This forward-thinking and inclusive approach to diversity was impressive to all judges of this event.

This year’s recipient of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Engineering Award is Ohio State University.

The Ohio State EcoCAR Team is dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. The team has a well-rounded perspective on diversity, taking into consideration various underrepresented populations based on gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and first-generation college students.

The basis of diversity within the Ohio State team starts with the push for underrepresented minorities to be present in team leadership. The team believes that having this diverse group of leaders provides the team leaders with invaluable experience which leads to greater rates of employment and pay. In fact, 42% of the team is made up of underrepresented minorities.

The Ohio State EcoCAR team places an emphasis on having a supportive and inclusive environment for all its members. According to the team, maintaining this environment is crucial not only to their success, but also critical to the development of relationships and confidence in team members. Having a diverse team allows for team members to be exposed to a variety of perspectives and cultures, which presents an opportunity for members to learn about and respect said perspectives and cultures.

Together, both teams have proven to be advocates for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on their EcoCAR teams.