ACEC Research Institute Releases First-ever Diversity Roadmap

Washington – The ACEC Research Institute has released its first-ever Diversity Roadmap presenting the state of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) in the engineering industry and identifying opportunities for improvement as firms work toward their DEI&B goals.

Initially unveiled in summer 2023, nearly 200 ACEC member firms have participated in the Roadmap which offers engineering firm executives a comprehensive, data-driven tool that assesses the maturity of a firm’s DEIB program and provides actionable suggestions on how firms can make further progress. The Roadmap is sponsored by Zweig Group.

“We’re pleased to see so many engineering firms working toward DEIB goals and using the Diversity Roadmap tool to strategically approach their efforts,” said Mike Carragher, chair of the ACEC Research Institute and chair and CEO of VHB.

While most member firms are early in their DEIB journeys (80% scored as “Aspiring”), the robust participation signals both a willingness and an appetite for creating diverse workspaces. The data indicate that firm leaders show significant support for DEIB issues; the majority of responding firms have a CEO or president who articulates a commitment to these issues (68% always/often).

“These DEIB goals are not only critical for employee recruitment and retention, but they also make companies stronger,” said Chad Clinehens, CEO of Zweig Group. “This Roadmap gives engineering firms solid data, along with strategies and tools to achieve their goals so they shape a better future for our industry that prioritizes the people in it.”

To participate in the Roadmap, firms were asked a series of questions about their practices and policies in a variety of areas: Workplace, Workforce, Marketplace, and Supplier/Community. Their answers to these individual areas were scored, then aggregated to produce a final score. Scores range from Aspiring (for firms at the earliest stages of building their DEIB disciplines) to Optimizing (firms that have robust strategic programs in place). In between are firms that are Emerging or Managing, signaling solid progress but outstanding work yet to be done.

“The response has been overwhelming and there’s still time for more firms to participate,” said Daphne Bryant, ACEC Research Institute executive director. “We’re encouraging engineering firms to participate through the end of the year. They’ll gain valuable insight, especially looking ahead to the future when they can compare year-over-year improvements.”

For firms that would still like to participate, the deadline to submit 2022 data is Dec. 31. Contact [email protected] for more information.

To read the full report, click here.