GEDC Airbus Diversity Award
2014 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award Recipient Announced
Airbus, the leading aircraft manufacturer, and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), the leading international organisation for engineering education, announced Marita Cheng as the recipient of the 2014 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award at the World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) in Dubai on 3rd December 2014. She receives 10 000 USD to support and develop her work in this field.
Marita Cheng, from Australia, is the founder of Robogals Global, an initiative designed to inspire girls aged 10-14 to choose engineering and technical careers, and to create a global community of engineering students committed to the cause of greater diversity. Through a varied programme of workshops, training, student challenges, a Robogal Ambassador programme and a dedicated outreach programme for rural and regional areas, Robogals has so far reached over 20,000 girls worldwide, utilising a largely volunteer workforce of university students. In six years, it has grown from a single university chapter to an international organisation.
The world needs more engineers. Airbus and the GEDC believe that people from every background should have the opportunity to play their part in our shared future. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that the engineering industry reflects the diversity of the communities it supports. Initiatives like this Award signal Airbus and the GEDC’s strong commitment to achieving a truly diverse global engineering talent pipeline.
Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering led the evaluation committee, said, “At Airbus, we are constantly looking for new ways to innovate. That means building more diverse teams, for higher performance and an inclusive culture that builds on everyone’s strengths. Our 2014 Award recipient not only impressed us with her initiative, but also inspired us with her understanding that the best way to increase diversity is by creating a clear roadmap for others to follow.”
The three 2014 finalists were selected from over 20 candidates from 12 countries. This prestigious award is given to individuals who have been proactive in bringing more diversity* into engineering schools and universities. It rewards initiatives around the world which encourage young people of all profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering.
The finalists presented their ideas before a distinguished evaluation committee at the World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) in Dubai earlier this week. John Beynon, (Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences at the University of Adelaide and Chair of the GEDC), Rana El Chemaitelly (Founder, The Little Engineer) Prof. R Natarajan (Former Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education, and former Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras) and Dr. Khairiyah Mohd-Yusof (Director, Centre of Engineering Education, Universiti Teknologi, Malaysia) joined Charles Champion on the Committee. Their selection criteria focused on the measureable success of the initiative, the transferability of the idea and the potential to inspire others.
“All three of our finalists are to be congratulated for the real difference that they have made,” said John Beynon, chairman of the GEDC. “Their achievements are testimony to their hard work and commitment. Now we hope that engineering leaders from around the world will be inspired to follow their example, and replicate their initiatives in order to build a more diverse global community of engineers.”
What Do We Mean By Diversity?
Diversity is the inclusion of individuals that represent variations in gender, race, ethnic background, disability, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, nationality and other non-visible differences resulting in an environment rich in intellectual variety and respect for the individual, and optimally suited to address the technological, business and societal needs of the future. (Source: American Society of Engineering Education and Airbus)
For more information on the Award, please visit the official website at www.diversityinengineering.com. Contact email@example.com any questions or to request a submission form and guidelines.
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Pictures of the 2014 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award finalists: http://www.airbus.com