Why is diversity important in engineering?

Diversity optimizes problem solving and Whitney Gaskins shares how

Hear why diversity is important in engineering from Dr. Whitney Gaskins, the Assistant Dean of Inclusive Excellence and Community Engagement in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Why should someone be an engineer?

You should go into engineering because you get to see how you change the world. If you have a mind to want to make the world a better place and you like to solve the problem. So if you're the person that's like: Why is this like that? Why do we do things like that? Could it be better? Engineering is a perfect career choice for you. Everybody wants to leave a legacy of goodness and engineering gives you the opportunity to leave that legacy.

How is engineering evolving?

Engineering is an ever-evolving field and career. Engineers are problem solvers. As the world shifts and changes, so does engineering. When you bring other people into the culture—which is so important and necessary—you start to see things that we thought were solutions or even problems that we didn't even realize were problems, it gets brought up. Then we start to evolve and change the way we think and how we navigate the world. As the world grows, so engineering.

Why is it important to have diverse students with a variety of backgrounds in engineering?

It is so important to have diverse students in engineering because we are problem solvers. Engineers work in the world to solve a whole lot of problems from transportation, even education and you have to have diverse opinions and a diverse background which means we have to have different types of people. It's really critical for success if we're going to develop strong solutions to have diverse perspectives.

Everybody wants to leave a legacy of goodness and engineering gives you the opportunity to leave that legacy.

Whitney Gaskins, UC College of Engineering and Applied Science

What pathways and unique opportunities are available for students at UC?

The University of Cincinnati is very connected to industry. You get to experience a whole variety of fields before you go into your professional career through our co-op program. People don't realize we help people start tech companies. I've had two students go through business accelerators based on problem-solving skills and coming up with their own company—that's unique to UC. We push entrepreneurship as well as industry and corporate relations, but we also help people start non-profits. We have students that have started tutoring apps so they can help the city youth and now they're running with it as a business. You don't have to just do one thing, UC helps you connect to a wide variety of things. It's a wonderful experience to be in a house that has so much opportunity.

How can engineers make a difference and change the world?

Engineers can make a difference in so many different fields. For example, in biomedical engineering. Young people that may have been born without a limb—being able to develop one for them is beautiful. At Shriners Hospital, they develop skin so that way burn victims can recover from being in a fire. Engineers contribute and do that work and have a real impact. Which is what engineers do: have impact on the world.

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