As Engineers Without Borders South Africa we are committed to gender, cultural and racial diversity and represent over 2000 young engineers in five provinces in the country. Moreover, we value stimulating conversations and presenting diverse perspectives to complex challenges that our society faces.
Like many who have raised their voices, we are outraged by the recent issue of the South African Institute for Civil Engineering's (SAICE) magazine, featuring a deeply demeaning and misinformed opinion piece by SAICE's CEO, Manglin Pillay. The piece in no way reflects the difficult journeys that many of our female members navigate in hostile environments to pursue a career that they are passionate about.
We have invited Mr Pillay to address our chapter leaders in the past - not because we endorse his views, but because diversity of perspective is vital to foster critical thought and dialogue. Mr Pillay's limited perspective, which precludes 50% of the world's population from having the potential to successfully pursue technical careers, belittles not only the necessity of exactly this diversity, but also the fundamental tenets of human rights and equality.
To our student chapters, if the engineering industry of tomorrow is to be different to today, you have a role to play. We challenge you to help us create a 'Diversity Code of Conduct' as commitment to the respect we owe each other and the communities we work with. We call on all engineers to reimagine the engineering sector as a place where all genders, races and cultures can live their passion, unfold their potential and work with compassion.
EWB-SA is engaging with other bodies in the engineering sector to push for decisive action and change with regards to discrimination and harassment.
Engineers Without Borders South Africa