Helping Engineers Lead

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This blog was contributed by Emily Moore, PhD, P.Eng., Director Troost Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering.

Engineers lead. It’s the first pillar of OSPE’s strategic plan. It’s based on a value of responsibility to society, a call to action for the profession.

But is the profession ready to lead? As individual engineers, do we heed the call? And if we do, are we suitably prepared?

As an educator and researcher in engineering leadership, these are questions I wrestle with every day. Our institute has done groundbreaking research on how engineers lead and we deliver multiple courses that help students develop their leadership skills. But this area is new and there is still much to learn. We know that a standard engineering education is typically light on non-technical skills, though this has begun to change in recent years.  We also know that engineers are underrepresented in certain types of societal leadership.

This is why we are so excited to be partnering with OSPE to better understand the realities of leadership for engineering graduates and professional engineers. We are launching a survey to explore the following questions:

  • To what extent do engineers identify with leadership?
  • How well prepared are they?
  • What challenges do they face?
  • What has enabled them to make a difference in their organizations and society?
  • Do attitudes and experiences differ across generations, gender, or race?

The survey is open to anyone with an engineering degree. An email will be sent by UofT ILead to OSPE members and we encourage you to fill it out. The results will be shared with OSPE to help inform their professional development programming. The insights will also be used to enhance leadership skill instruction in engineering education.

For those outside of OSPE, click here to fill out the survey now.

This work is supported by a Partnership Engage Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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