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Engineering: An Exclusive Club? May 13th #EngCulture chat

Is engineering for everyone?  How exclusive is our profession, and what can we do about it?

All are welcome to the conversation: engineering students, engineering technology students, educators and professionals, and anyone who is affected by engineering (which is everyone!) the #EngCulture online event will consist of a live chat on twitter starting at 8 pm.

On May 13th 2015, at 8 pm, we will continue our conversation.  Our host, Erica Lee Garcia, P.Eng. @engineeryrlife will be hosting.  Join us and let us know your thoughts!


We’ll approach the topic of exclusivity from a few angles:

  1. Is engineering an inclusive or exclusive?  What are examples in the engineering profession and educational systems?
  2. Is engineering a more attractive path if viewed as exclusive?  To whom?  Why?
  3. Where does the exclusive feel of #engineering come from? Is it historically appropriate?
  4. What are the consequences of engineering being perceived as elite or exclusive?
  5. How do newer technologies make engineering more inclusive?
  6. What are some success stories?
  7. How would you encourage a young person to study engineering?

 More about the Show:

Well, why should we in engineering talk about culture?, you might ask.  Why should we care?  Culture refers to the collective, and often un-articulated ‘rules’ that we all play by.  They govern our behaviour, our decisions, and the ways we interact with each other, even when we are unaware.  If we change the culture in a given institution, company or group of people, we change the outcomes.  Though we are logical, analytical people, engineering students and engineers too are guided and influenced by culture.

Culture was named one of the most important words of 2014.  We often refer to a culture to name underlying root causes of negative phenomenon we see (culture of fear, online culture, culture of poverty, culture of misogyny), it is also often associated with positive things:  culture of safety, culture of trust or respect, culture of co-operation.

How can we understand our culture as it exists now – within our engineering schools, companies and within the minds and hearts of the members of the engineering community?  How can we understand the way our culture has created the status quo?  And, most exciting and promising of all, how can we deliberately shape it to lead to more of the outcomes we want in the future of engineering education and the engineering profession?

Look for contributions from diverse corners of the engineering community, as well as outside the community, as we explore this rich topic.  Have your say!

Please email if you have an idea for a show or want to expand your thoughts beyond 140 characters.  Mark your calendar now for Wednesday, March 11th, Wednesday April 8th and Wednesday, May 13th  at 8 pm ET, and come find us on #EngCulture!

How to Twitter Chat

If you’ve never Twitter chatted before, don’t worry; it’s very easy! First, get a Twitter account if you don’t already have one, and log in. At 8 PM ET on Wednesday go to and type #BigBeacon into the search box on Twitter. Thereafter all the tweets with the hashtag #BigBeacon will show up on your Twitter page. To participate, simply express your opinion by sending a tweet, and be sure to append the hashtag #BigBeacon so other members of the Twitter Chat see you are posting. Alternatively, automate the hashtag search and append feature by using the free service Tchat at

A Canadian professional engineer with a background in manufacturing and mining, Erica is passionate about creating a better future through Six Sigma, Lean/Kaizen Events, mentorship, coaching, sustainability, educational reform and talking to kids about engineering.

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