At the White House’s inaugural Demo Day on August 4, more than 100 engineering school deans presented an open letter in which they pledged to take steps to increase opportunities for women and minorities in engineering programs.
The deans, through the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), outlined specific commitments their schools will make to develop diversity plans, participate in K-12 pipeline programs, and partner with other minority-serving engineering institutions to increase the number of underrepresented students and faculty in their ranks.
“We further commit to ensuring that our institutions provide educational experiences that are inclusive and prevent marginalization of any groups of people because of visible or invisible differences,” the letter reads. “We affirm the importance of such aims as a reflection of our core values, as a source of inspiration for drawing a generation to the call of improving the human condition.”
The White House Demo Day was a special event focused on inclusive entrepreneurship and showcased women- and minority-led startups. In addition to the commitments from engineering colleges, President Barack Obama announced that a number of major tech companies and venture capital firms have committed to diversifying their hiring practices.
See the full list of participating engineering school deans here.