What common challenges is the engineering industry facing in today’s society?
It’s no secret that the engineering industry uses their knowledge in creative ways to find solutions, even while the world has been rapidly changing. Engineers are known throughout history to be the ones to make things happen regardless of what issues the world could be facing. Today’s challenges are no different, which is why engineers are working around the clock to build a sustainable world. However, in order to build a sustainable world, the engineering industry needs to tackle internal challenges, including skill and staff shortages, and the lack of female and minority presence.
There is an engineering skills gap and, in order to overcome the skill and staff shortage of engineers, we need evaluate the root causes of the issues. A root issue is the lack of knowledge regarding what engineers do. When there is not enough awareness on the subject, this turns into a lack of opportunity for future generations. A way to help fix the engineering skills gap is to educate the up-and-coming generations in schools; having knowledge about the different branches of engineering and what each specializes in can spike kids’ curiosity about the industry. This also shows that engineering is not just one general subject, but that there is a variety of branches to choose from depending on their interests.
The lack of female and minority presence has been an ongoing challenge in the engineering industry, and this is caused by misconception and underrepresentation. One of the root issues is the perceived culture of engineering, where the industry is known as male dominant. Due to the low percentage of female in the industry, most companies tend to have less consideration of women’s needs, which causes toxic work environments and leads women to leave the industry sooner than men. Also, the lack of representation of women and minority engineers shows that there is no example for the future generation of engineers to follow, which leads to discouragement. Creating a welcoming environment for both women and minorities is one of the tools to overcome this challenge in the engineering industry.
The engineering industry needs to build a new image and show the future generations that the engineering industry is for everyone. An inclusive industry will be the solution to these challenges because as technology advances, the engineering industry will face larger scale problems and the best way to tackle these current and future issues is by having a large range of diverse minds working together.