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NZ companies need more engineers on Boards

Published: Thu 2 Dec 2004 09:58 AM
Media Statement - www.ipenz.org.nz/media
NZ companies need more engineers on Boards – says Engineer’s President
There should be more engineers contributing to governance at the Board table and enhancing the intellectual property of companies said the Institution of Professional Engineers (IPENZ) President, Dr Ian Parton.
At an address Dr Parton gave to IPENZ members and stakeholders at Parliament (5.30 pm,Tuesday, November 30), he said engineers needed to see themselves as leaders and take the initial steps, whether on a school board, company management or local government council, to ensure there was a pool of governance-ready engineers in New Zealand.
“Engineers training adds value to New Zealand companies as we offer an analytical approach to decision-making and logical problem solving – we are proficient at technology transfer and innovation and so our decision making comes from an innovation perspective rather than from a risk-averse, compliance perspective,” said Dr Parton.
Dr Parton cited an example of engineers making a difference in the United Kingdom – where a UK survey of the FTSE 100 companies showed that engineers are more widely represented on the boards of those companies than any other profession. More than 16 per cent of directors (and the largest group) had an engineering qualification as their first degree – ahead of science and economics, and far ahead of law and commerce.
“It is vital that New Zealanders understand that engineers are part of the business community and not part of the science community. Yes, we use science but our ethos is one of practical application of knowledge in ways that are economically viable and environmentally responsible he said.
“Engineers work at the forefront in integrating new and emerging technologies to improve infrastructure and health, welfare and safety and related intellectual property. . It is time for engineers to throw off the “technician working in the backroom” image and take on leadership roles,” he said.
About IPENZ
The Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) is the professional body which represents professional engineers from all disciplines in New Zealand. The Institution sets internationally bench-marked qualifying standards for degree qualifications in engineering, and serves engineers by securing formal recognition for their professional standing. IPENZ provides services for about 9000 members.
ENDS

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