Identifying Microaggressions Experienced by BIPOC Engineering Students across Higher Education in Ontario

Acknowledging that discrimination and prejudice of various sorts (e.g., verbal, behavioural, environmental) continue to exist in the education system, this research seeks to address how and why microaggressions against Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), within engineering departments, show up among peers in classrooms, across interactions in lab environments, group-activities, and more. This research aims to shed light on the prevalence of these microaggressions as they appear in not only in-person learning, but rather, on how they have become embedded within virtual learning environments as well. With a focus on BIPOC in the engineering community, the research includes findings based on extensive literature review, 1-on-1 interviews, and Focus Groups. Further, the research will be carried out across higher education and across Ontario’s Society of Professional Engineers’ (OSPE) growing network of engineering students and alumni. OSPE has developed a four-point action plan to address systemic bias in the culture, training, and its licensure process. This Mitacs project will provide useful information for Diversity and Inclusion Task Force (TF) members, all of whom are Professional Engineers. As well, TF members can provide the Mitacs intern with insights and input that could benefit the research.

Faculty Supervisor:

Medhat Shehata


Anum Khan


Ontario Society of Professional Engineers


Engineering - civil


Professional, scientific and technical services


Ryerson University



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