Equality in Engineering is essential to achieving sustainable development: A report supported by the United Nations |


The study highlights the currently insufficient engineering capabilities to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the internationally agreed blueprint for a peaceful and prosperous planet, as well as a lack of diversity in this area.

Engineering is one of the keys to the sustainable development of our societies, and to realize its full potential, the world needs more engineers and more equality. She said Audrey Azoulay UNESCO General Director.

The pandemic speeds up action

The report is titled Engineering for Sustainable Development: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, Was prepared in cooperation with the Chinese Academy of Engineering; International Center for Engineering Education (ICEE), based in Tsinghua University in Beijing; World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO); And other international engineering organizations.

It was released before World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development, Observed on Thursday 4 March.

“The Covid-19 The pandemic has accelerated the call for urgent action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, while emphasizing the importance of engineering in sustainable development, ”the authors said.

Women ‘historically underrepresented’

The report stresses the importance of equal opportunities for all to ensure inclusiveness and gender balance in a profession that has played a fundamental role in development and human well-being.

UNESCO has said engineering is essential to mitigate the impact of climate change and advance the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in Africa and small island developing states.

Despite the importance of the profession, the UN agency noted that women are “historically underrepresented” in engineering, making up only 10 to 20 percent of workers.

Barriers to women include persistent stereotypes about gender in the field and inadequate policies or educational environments that do not meet their needs and aspirations.

Transformation and innovation

The report showcases engineering innovations and actions from around the world that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The 17 goals aim to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality and stimulate economic growth, while also protecting the natural environment.

Examples cited include the increase in the use of digital technology during a pandemic, such as telemedicine for virtual therapy, while artificial intelligence, or “AI”, is helping to make water systems more adaptive and efficient.

“Engineering itself needs to be transformed to become more innovative, inclusive, collaborative and responsible,” the authors said, underlining the need for a “new paradigm” linking disciplines in order to address complex issues such as climate change, urbanization, and the preservation of the health of oceans and forests.

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