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Encouraging the Return of Stay-at-Home Mothers to the Engineering Profession




Like all professionals, civil engineers must constantly balance family life with the demands of a competitive and dynamic workplace. In response to member concerns, ASCE is exploring the challenges that arise when mothers and fathers re-enter active employment after taking an extended leave to raise children. ASCE, through the Committee on Diversity and Women in Civil Engineering (CDWCE), would like to solicit input from our members about this topic. Some of the issues that we are interested in hearing from you about include:

If you are an EMPLOYEE:  

  • How long do you think is "too long" to be out of the active job market before you begin to question your own knowledge base and ability to fully contribute?
  • How do you keep current on technical and professional issues while you are not actively employed?
  • Do you believe ASCE offers valuable and affordable continuing education options for you when not actively employed?
  • If you answered "no" to the above, how can ASCE do a better job of supporting such needs?
  • Many states require continuing education to maintain licensure. How does this requirement affect how you approach obtaining continuing education?

If you are an EMPLOYER:  

  • How long is "too long" for an engineer to be out of the active job market before you begin to question their knowledge base and ability to fully contribute to your firm?
  • What would be your advice to someone considering taking an extended leave of absence from the active job market to keep their knowledge base current and keep them competitive when they decide to return?
  • What current policies and procedures do you have in place to support those who want or need to take an extended leave of absence from the job market (such as the options listed below) How long would you realistically allow an employee to participate in these options below?

Flextime? Telecommuting Options? Other?

Please email your response to We look forward to hearing from you!