Boards, engineers & sustainable development


At the World Engineers Convention last year, I spoke about engineers on boards. Today being the inaugural World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development, it’s a fitting opportunity to re-share this message. In a nutshell…

There is a need for trust in leadership. The Edelman survey shows a lack of trust across the globe. Research by IPSOS and Roy Morgan shows engineers are one of the most trusted professions behind doctors, nurses and teachers.

There is a need for evidence-based decision-making. Research shows engineers hold desirable characteristics and traits for information-based decisions. According to experts, engineers are valued in top positions because of their analytical and problem-solving skills. They are also creative and collaborative.

There are few engineers on boards. Highlighted by the AICD this week is that only 3% of directors have a STEM background. As with mandates for females on boards, technical diversity around the board table can also enhance discussions, deliberations and board outcomes.

With such attributes, engineers are encouraged to consider board work! Engineers with the right mix of skills make a great choice for board membership. They can help design and implement a better future, and might just give us our greatest chance of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They may also help develop a stronger pool of trusted leaders for the future.

Contributing to a board is one of the most positive things you can do. If you’re an engineer, give it some thought! If you’re a non-engineer, encourage one you know to think about the opportunity!

Happy World Engineering Day 2020!

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