Engineers should not lead organizations. Engineers are rigid, politically unsophisticated, unimaginative, uncommunicative and oblivious to the big picture. They lack the needed qualities for leadership and are best suited for lower-level supporting roles. You hear these comments all the time. Had these comments been made about an ethnic group or nationality, the comments would be condemned as stereotyping and the speaker as a bigot. But it’s quite acceptable if you make remarks such as these about engineers.
There is a price attached to our indifference and subtle acceptance of such derogatory comments. A majority of state legislatures have now passed laws revoking the requirement for a professional engineer to lead state engineering- and infrastructure-related agencies. While this has nearly ensured the extinction of engineers from the top of these agencies, there is a new onslaught against engineers under way that threatens to drive them from even the second- and third-level executive positions.