Promoting LGBTQ equality in engineering via online Safe Zone workshops

Rocio C.Chavela Guerra, Stephanie Farrell, Alexandra Longo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


This Work in Progress paper describes an initiative to promote (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) LGBTQ equality in engineering via online Safe Zone workshops as a means to create a visible network of LGBTQ-affirming faculty who contribute to creating a positive and inclusive climate in engineering departments. The online Safe Zone workshop series is part of a larger project that aims to (1) identify aspects of engineering culture that present barriers to LGBTQ equality, (2) build knowledge and skills to disrupt discrimination and promote LGBTQ equality in engineering departments on college campuses and (3) to identify best practices for promoting LGBTQ equality in engineering. More than 270 engineering educators have attended the 20 on-site Safe Zone Workshops offered at the ASEE Annual Conference in 2014 and 2015; online workshops were launched in 2016 to reach a broader audience. Evaluation results indicate that the content of the Safe Zone Workshops has been appropriately tailored to an audience of engineering educators, and that there is a clear call to expand the workshops and nurture the conversation about LGBTQ inclusion in engineering. Online technology is being used to create a scalable model for sharing knowledge, tools and resources to promote LGBTQ inclusion in environments that are traditionally difficult to penetrate. The online workshops were launched in early 2016 and will continue through mid-2017. In this paper we share preliminary evaluation results from a single workshop and discuss lessons learned from initial implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFIE 2016 - Frontiers in Education 2016
Subtitle of host publicationThe Crossroads of Engineering and Business
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781509017904
StatePublished - Nov 28 2016
Event46th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2016 - Erie, United States
Duration: Oct 12 2016Oct 15 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other46th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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