On October 11, 2019, the Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers conducted the second annual Outreach and Diversity Training. This event was specifically tailored for the Outreach Committee, and 22 dedicated students attended. At the meeting, our amazing Outreach Vice President, Cassidy Elwell, presented about the gender gap in engineering and emphasized the importance of women’s perspectives for the development of the field. Afterwards, Justin Gomez, a representative from the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion, led an interactive workshop on best practices for inclusivity.
Through group discussions and collaboration, members of the Outreach Committee were able to better understand the importance of diversity on our campus and, more broadly, in the field of engineering. Also, they learned practical ways to exercise more inclusive language and habits. Such skills are imperative to our committee, especially since we often work with underrepresented minorities at any level from elementary school to community college. A lot of times, these students have been told that engineering is not for them or have been encouraged to doubt, rather than strengthen, their abilities. In being more inclusive, we can better achieve our goal to create a more diverse engineering field full of people, specifically women, that feel confident, capable, and welcome.