Empathy and care influence aspects of engineering practice including collaboration and teamwork, stakeholder engagement, and quality of work. Empathy has been identified as a key employability skill for professionals, and is the foundation for many skills and attributes anticipated as required by future engineers. Therefore, the understanding of empathy and care, and consideration of the development of empathetic and caring competencies are increasingly relevant for engineering education. Recent studies have explored the conceptualisation of and value placed on empathy and care in engineering practice, from the perspectives of practicing engineers in US and German contexts. We broaden this to include the Australian setting. Engineers' perceptions of empathy and care within Australian engineering practice were collected using an online version of the Empathy and Care Questionnaire (ECQ) instrument developed by Hess, Strobel, Pan and Wachter Morris (N = 183). Statistical analysis of survey questions relating to the perceived importance and benefits of empathy and care to engineers, and relevance within a range of engineering practice situations was undertaken. Analysis of gender, years of experience, and organisational role indicated that female engineers perceived empathy and care to be more important, and more impactful on engineering practice than male engineers. Perceptions of empathy and care did not vary with duration of engineering work experience, however engineers in positions of organisational leadership placed greater importance on empathy and care in their roles than others. These differences contrast with results of the US and German studies. Further analysis is required to understand where, when and why these differences occur.
|Name||SEFI 2022 - 50th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, Proceedings|
|Conference||50th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, SEFI 2022|
|Period||19/09/22 → 22/09/22|