Approved by the Members of Society Advancing an Inclusive Culture on May 24, 2021
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on June 3, 2021
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 16, 2021
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) fosters a fully inclusive culture that celebrates individual uniqueness, engenders a sense of belonging, and promotes equitable opportunity for all people to participate as members and stakeholders of the civil engineering community regardless of identity. ASCE and its members are committed to inclusive engineering problem solving that recognizes, values, and addresses the unique needs of diverse demographic, social, economic, and cultural groups when considering, balancing, and mitigating societal, environmental, and economic impacts of our work. This includes a commitment to:
- Eradicating discrimination and harassment in all its forms;
- Building mutually beneficial partnerships with engineering and non-engineering organizations to bolster the collective impact of our efforts;
- Advancing a research agenda centered on equitable and inclusive engineering education, research, and practice;
- Promoting accountability and the use of best practices for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in leadership, engagement, communications, and partnerships; and
- Fulfilling our roles as leaders, major contributors, or supporters toward the attainment of each of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The engineering profession and ASCE membership lack representation of people from identity groups that provide the diverse perspectives of the communities we serve. The lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the civil engineering profession limits capacity to effectively meet societal needs. Over the last several decades progress has been made to varying degrees through awareness, education, and action. Currently, more efforts are needed to fully realize inclusive and equitable practices in our profession, to assure representation of the rich diversity of our global communities, and to produce just societal outcomes from our work.
It is important to define Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. These definitions are from The JEDI Collaborative (justice) and ABET (equity, diversity, inclusion).
- Justice: Dismantling barriers to resources and opportunities in society so that all individuals and communities can live a full and dignified life.
- Equity: Fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all people, achieved by intentional focus on their disparate needs, conditions and abilities. Achieving equity requires understanding of historical and systemic patterns of disparity to address and eliminate barriers and remove participation gaps as part of a comprehensive strategy to achieve equitable outcomes and social justice.
- Diversity: Range of human differences, encompassing the characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, the following characteristics: race, ethnicity, culture, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, religious beliefs, work sector, physical ability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, physical appearance, and cognitive differences.
- Inclusion: Intentional, proactive, and continuing efforts and practices in which all members respect, support, and value others. An inclusive environment provides equitable access to opportunities and resources, empowers everyone to participate equally, and offers respect in words and actions for all.
The well-being of our global society will rely greatly reply upon the civil engineering profession to provide leadership, innovation, and stewardship of our changing world. ASCE recognizes the strategic and critical importance of equitable and inclusive engagement to develop and implement just, holistic solutions with the communities we serve throughout the world.
With a global membership and an evolving workforce that competes in the global market, it is important for ASCE to have a policy that communicates our commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion while recognizing, respecting, and valuing the people and the unique cultures impacted by our profession worldwide. ASCE members, prospective members, and other stakeholders are hereby empowered to share their expertise and perspectives toward the protection of public health, safety, and welfare.
This policy has worldwide application
ASCE Policy Statement 417
First Approved in 1993