Michigan Engineering's DEI Culture Shift
From the Nominator
The job of creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community rests not with one organization or group of people, but with all of us. As part of the University of Michigan College of Engineering's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Implementation Committee, the Communications & Marketing (C&M) team took on the challenge of communicating the importance of DEI in the field of engineering, and why it should matter to all of us.
Here at Michigan Engineering, we've been working on diversity, equity, and inclusion for a long time. However, when the DEI strategic plan launched in 2016, some still questioned whether or not this is really something engineers should tackle, what our role is in diversifying the field of engineering, and why it is important. Through storytelling, thought leadership, messaging, marketing, and visual assets, the C&M team coordinated with leaders across the college to set the stage for change over several years. We also pushed ourselves to tackle tough topics, and explore our own biases.
What resulted is a portfolio of work that not only explores issues of identity, race, bias, and privilege in the engineering field, but also celebrates how members of our community are dedicated to equity and inclusion. In 2020, we culminated this work with a suite of materials that launched major initiatives for lasting change. This was made possible in part by our years-long effort to communicate around these issues, and normalize the topic as one of critical importance for our community.
From the Judges
Really a home run. Full circle communications and marketing strategy that launched major initiatives for lasting, holistic change. Quantitative and qualitative impact and outcomes, recognition from peer institutions, challenged their community and tackled tough issues together. We liked that it was a distinctive, multi-year effort with a clear strategic objective, and also that it pushed the envelope. Head and shoulders above the competition.