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Racial Equality – An Engineer’s Perspective

We need an excellent engineering workforce with deep understanding of diversity, equality & principles


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Future Engineer’s understanding of Racial Equality, Gender Diversity and Social Injustice

 

Never before has building a next generation workforce, equipped with the right skills and the right tools for success been so critical. As the world emerges from lockdown and racism, businesses, governments and citizens will have to adapt to changes in the way we work, live and play.

How do we ensure that the the engineering workforce is, in turn, educated about racial equality and trained to provide the expectations of the ‘new customer’?  A company who has deep values on social issues is one of the vital success in delivering a world-class customer-orientated service. Whether in utilities, power, water, manufacturing, renewables or construction, a value-driven workforce is a driving force.

Whilst utilising the latest technology and innovations plays into the user experience, so too does the human element of those delivering these frontline services. In short, we need an excellent engineering workforce to deliver an excellent citizen service with deep understanding of diversity, equality and values.

Engineers have a huge part to play.

What we are seeing (protests around the world) is the emergence of a new workforce, not only that has to adapt to the new needs and wants of its country’s citizens but with deep understanding of social justice. It is this workforce that presents a clear opportunity to accelerate their careers, and support minorities and thrive in the country that their families have lived and grown up in.

Promoting racial equality & gender diversity

The visions of the leading Asian nations outline the important role that women and minorities are playing when it comes to delivering against their ambitions. Therefore supporting gender diversity and racial equality is key, and the private sector has an important role to deliver back to governments a fully skilled, racially equally ambitious and gender diverse engineering workforce.

Being prepared for the challenges that our society will face requires knowledge of future skills among the workforce of every engineers. Despite the challenges that the regional and global economies will be bracing for in the months ahead, we should not be deterred from our mission.

A new generation of engineers is ready to make an impact in the private sector by serving their countries; our priority is to play our role in helping to bring that into fruition. Ultimately, to do this, in a world of automation, robotics and other innovative forms of technology that will transform our society, we must adopt a growth mindset.

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Equipping engineers with the right skills and principles

Whilst the DNA of what makes a great employee will still remain (excellent work ethic, positive attitude, fostering racial equality values and skills related to the specific role), in this post-COVID world, the talent that will thrive are those who have built up new skills along the way. Now more than ever there is a focus on communication. Ensuring that we build a future national workforce that has the right skills to communicate effectively across the board is key – from face to face, incorporating new normals of social distancing and face masks, through to sophisticated use of available technology to communicate with people remotely. This is especially important with the fundamental makeup of the workforce changing. Virtual working environments will become more prevalent than ever before, so having a level of discipline, motivation and the ability to navigate and manage workloads effectively in a remote environment is also vital. Simultaneously, there is a need to deliver efficiently and effectively, and on time – because citizens will be no less demanding (or even more post COVID-19) when it comes to their expectations for service.

The pandemic has also taught us the need evolve and to embrace change in order to thrive. It has instilled in us a need to adapt to changing circumstances, and this in turn helps us find solutions to problems by putting the user front and centre of everything and thinking differently. We should not underestimate the opportunity this provides us to build a workforce whose founding principles are based on innovating and adapting to the new needs and wants of its customers or citizens (in respect of government services).

The important role that technology plays also highlights the need for a tech-savvy, digital ready future workforce. Robotics and AI are innovating how we live, work and play and employees need to align to that mindset, because this plays a significant role in automation and really enhancing the overall citizen experience. It is not about replacing humans with robots, the workforce of the future needs to be ready to take on the opportunity that technology represents to bring about efficiencies, drive innovations and improve citizens’ experience as they interact with governments and associated services.

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Public and private sector working hand in hand

So the engineering talent of the immediate tomorrow will have a direct impact on the delivery of the racial equality citizen experience.

Sad to say that the federal government of USA is solely focusing on dispersing peaceful protests, they should be making efficiencies, policies and life savings.

It is the duty of the private sector to support government when it has a true vision when it comes to developing the skills and values of engineers and scientists. This in turn supports the growth of the economy and fostering racial equality that leads to social justice.

But it’s not just about the pandemic or protests, a focus on engineers’ skills and technical know-how is very much embedded in the core DNA of our culture and it is a key component of our strategy. The pandemic and social unrest has only made it all the more obvious that we need to have a value-driven purpose and right skillset that is able to deliver to international principled-centered leadership. By doing so, we can provide our future engineers and scientists with the right training and soft skills so that they are moved into leadership and management roles, that is socially just, equal and fair. This is where they can focus on the future and manage the moral transformation that we are going through, just like the rest of the world.

Racial Equality at School

Engineering companies should be knocking at the doors of the biggest regional universities so that all of us can start our assessments, to recruit and find the brightest talent that we can support on their career journey of tomorrow. To that end, we are already looking forward to welcoming a new cadre of graduates and fully aware of of what racial equality and social justice.

As a multinational organisation, you must be committed to ensuring that engineering talent is equipped with robust training programmes delivered to international standards, and that key skills are learnt and underpinned by the right mentorship to enable those to thrive.

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Engr. Cody Catarina
Currently working as talent acquisition manager at Carillion Construction, Glasgow,UK. A badass mechanical engineer from University of Leeds. Editor and writer at GineersNow. Follow my travel and auto blogs https://www.facebook.com/cody.catarina/

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