Faculty discuss equitable grading practices during an EMPOWER Workshop.Faculty discuss equitable grading practices during an EMPOWER Workshop in Kresge Engineering Library. (Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering)

EMPOWERing Engineers for Positive Change

The EMPOWER program is intended to support faculty, staff and students who want to foster an inclusive climate by actively promoting practices that advance equity for all members of our engineering community.  The engaging workshops are designed to equip us with tools to create positive change via:

  • an increase in awareness of our own personal biases, and how biases are exerted via personal interactions and institutional practices
  • interruption of exclusionary behaviors or actions that perpetuate inequality, and
  • adoption of evidence-based practices that advance equity, inclusion and diversity.

Through interactive sessions led by the Berkeley Interactive Theater, participants will be empowered with knowledge, skills and practice to become agents of change.

The EMPOWER program consists of multiple modules, with each module being a series of workshops. The current modules are intended for faculty and staff; additional modules for students are being planned. Program participants who complete all three workshops for a given module will be recognized at a college event.  The completion of four separate modules will be recognized with an EMPOWER certificate. Participation in the EMPOWER program is a great way for faculty to show their commitment to advancing equity and inclusion, and can be mentioned in the contributions-to-diversity statement as part of merit and promotion cases.


This work is funded by Chevron Corporation and the College of Engineering in partnership with faculty from the Departments of Bioengineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Nuclear Engineering, as well as students from Black Graduate Engineering and Science Students, Latinx Association of Graduate Students in Engineering and Science, Graduate Women in Engineering, Black Engineering and Science Students Association (BESSA), Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Hispanic Engineers and Scientists (HES).