Engineers Week Speaker Discusses Creating Inclusivity Through Psychological Safety

As part of the National Engineers Week celebration, chemical engineer and DEI leader Mark McBride-Wright spoke at a fireside chat with COE Dean Gregory Abowd about creating inclusivity and leading teams by creating a psychologically safe environment in the workplace and beyond.

This article originally appeared on Northeastern Global News. It was published by Cesareo Contreras. Main photo: Award-winning engineer Mark McBride-Wright speaks to Northeastern students, faculty and staff about inclusivity in the workplace at the Fenway Center on Wednesday. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

DEI leader shares methods on how to build inclusive engineering communities

In the numerous talks Mark McBride-Wright has given to workplace leaders about the value of equity and inclusion, there’s one image he shares with the groups that tends to cut to the heart of the issue, he says.

“The most powerful slide I use with leaders is a picture of a foot walking on eggshells,” McBride-Wright said. “It articulates how people feel with groups they don’t belong to. It might articulate how you feel when you start thinking more latterly about what you are not.”

But it’s by working through that initial discomfort where real progress can be made, McBride-Wright said Wednesday afternoon in a fireside chat with Gregory Abowd, dean of Northeastern’s College of Engineering. A chemical engineer by profession turned diversity, equity and inclusion leader, McBride-Wright was invited to speak as part of the university’s series of events celebrating National Engineers Week.

Mark McBride-Wright was invited to speak as part of a series of events the university hosted in honor of National Engineers Week. Photos by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

McBride-Wright is the founder and CEO of EqualEngineers, a business consulting firm that works with engineering companies to make their workplaces more inclusive. He is also the author of “The SAFE Leader: Engineering Inclusive Cultures,” which is being released next month.

Abowd asked McBride-Wright to share some advice to Northeastern students securing their first co-ops, and how they should navigate the job search process while staying true to their identities.

“I would say be honest and open in the interview process, especially if you need any sort of adjustments or accommodations if you have some sort of disability or something that would make the process more aligned for you,” he said. “If you are not open and true in the application process, then you’re not really truly evaluating the employer in terms of how authentic they are and if they can support you.”

Read full story at Northeastern Global News

Related Faculty: Gregory D. Abowd

Related Departments:Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering