For engineering industry insiders, one fact is abundantly clear: the engineering & technology workforce does not accurately reflect the diversity of the world around us.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is committed to building a world with gender parity and equality in engineering and technology; however, SWE isn’t the only industry leader that is advancing diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging (DEI&B) in these sectors.
For many companies and organizations in the STEM space, DEI&B is not just a moral imperative, it’s a strategic advantage that helps widen the talent pool and attract and retain high-quality employees.
To plan for an engineering workforce that includes, highlights and celebrates underrepresented groups, it’s important to have a clear diversity recruitment strategy in place. Otherwise, existing biases and inequities tend to rise to the surface despite an organization’s best intentions.
Below are some insights on how to improve your diversity recruiting strategy and stand out as a company that values DEI&B.
DEI&B Recruitment Strategies
To attract a diverse talent pool, platitudes and PR statements are not enough. Engineering organizations need to consider DEI&B recruitment strategies that go beyond traditional methods if they want to resonate with the engineering leaders of the future.
One oft-overlooked strategy lies in storytelling marketing. “Show, don’t tell” is a longtime piece of writing advice, and it can also be applied to engineering companies looking to attract top talent.
Organizations that use storytelling marketing effectively can craft memorable pieces of content that showcase the people and initiatives within your company that are breaking the mold and advancing DEI&B.
As an example, Annette Clayton of Schneider Electric spoke on Diverse: a SWE podcast as part of the company’s involvement with SWE’s Diversity Drivers initiative. She shared about her background in engineering, paired with useful information about how more than half of Schneider Electric’s board is women and how the company strives to have three women on every team.
By pairing her personal story with these behind-the-scenes insights into Schneider Electric’s DEI&B efforts, SWE’s podcast listeners were able to learn about the company’s initiatives in a natural way that didn’t feel like an advertisement.
This podcast episode reached over 1,500 listeners and became one of our most popular episodes of all-time, indicating that SWE’s audience of engineers craves more stories like this one.
Representation Matters in Engineering
The underrepresentation of women in engineering has been a persistent challenge. To address this, SWE showcases partners that create a supportive environment where women can thrive and be recognized for their remarkable achievements in our blog, podcast, magazine, website, social media channels, and email newsletters.
By emphasizing the importance of representation, we can collectively break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and inspire the next generation of female engineers and men allies.
Examples of advertisements from SWE’s Diversity Drivers program
Effective employer branding is crucial for attracting top talent and promoting an organization’s values. Your employer brand is what will make your organization stand out in a sea of options for women in STEM, and if implemented effectively, can resonate with potential employees and reflect your company’s dedication to empowering women in engineering.
By showcasing success stories, testimonials, and stories from women within your company, you can build a compelling employer brand that resonates with potential candidates and invokes a sense of pride among your existing team.
Smith+Nephew used storytelling marketing on SWE’s All Together blog to advance its brand and position the company as a DEI&B leader. Instead of simply blasting out messaging around its commitment to DEI&B, Smith+Nephew worked with SWE to publish a creative blog post that highlighted six of its women engineers who are working on innovative orthopedic advancements.
This blog post performed well and caused a positive buzz on LinkedIn, sparking conversation and attention around opportunities for women to thrive at Smith+Nephew.
SWE’s Diversity Drivers
The success of any recruitment and branding initiative is amplified by the support of key partners. In 2023, employers such as Aerojet Rocketdyne, AFRL, Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business, Cummins, Dover, Discover, NCEES, and RTX embraced diversity in their recruiting practices by becoming a SWE Diversity Driver.
These organizations not only provide financial support to further SWE’s mission, but also amplify their reputation as industry leaders and attractive employers to SWE’s 43,000+ members. The SWE Diversity Drivers program provides a variety of storytelling marketing resources and strategic advertising placements, including blog posts and podcast episodes, to help your company both make a splash and stand out as a DEI&B leader and also attract diverse talent in the engineering and technology sectors.
The recruiting forecast for the year ahead includes a continued emphasis on DEI&B principles, storytelling strategies, and collaborative partnerships to get your career opportunities in front of qualified job-seekers.
Whether you are planning your recruitment strategy for Jan. 1 or searching for opportunities throughout the year, SWE can provide tailored solutions to get your company in front of the right audience.
We invite partners in all industries to join the movement and create a future where women are not only recognized but celebrated for their life-changing contributions as engineers and leaders. Become a Diversity Driver and share the inspiring stories of your company today while reaching your engineers and STEM leaders of the future.