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Navigating Successfully Through Workspaces Shaped by Subtle Bias

Course Description
Decades of research document the same patterns of bias over and over again. Professor Joan C. Williams has studied how the patterns of gender bias play out in everyday workplace interactions and how the experience of gender bias differs by race. In partnership with SWE, she has studied how bias operates in the field of engineering, with data from engineers both in the United States and in India. Professor Williams will discuss what bias looks like in engineering workplaces and will share strategies savvy women have used to navigate successfully through workplaces shaped by subtle bias.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
  • Recognize what gender and racial bias looks like in the engineering workplace.
  • Identify strategies successful women have used to navigate biased workplaces.
  • Identify strategies bystanders can use when they see bias playing out against others in the workplace.
Duration: 60 minutes
Closed Caption: English

Professor Joan Williams: Described by The New York Times Magazine as having “something approaching rock star status” in her field, Joan C. Williams is a Hastings Foundation Chair and Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She has authored 11 books and over 100 academic articles and book chapters, and ranks among the top 10 scholars in her field. Williams’ 2014 book What Works for Women at Work (co-written with daughter Rachel Dempsey) was praised by The New York Times Book Review: “Deftly combining sociological research with a more casual narrative style, What Works for Women at Work offers unabashedly straightforward advice in a how-to primer for ambitious women.” Williams’ influential studies on implicit bias in engineering include Climate Control: Gender and Racial Bias in Engineering? And Walking the Tightrope: An Examination of Bias in India’s Engineering Workplace. The first study examines how the experience of gender bias differs by race. The second study examines the parallels and differences between implicit bias based on gender and race. For her contributions to women in engineering, the Society of Women Engineers awarded her the President's Award in 2019.


This project is based upon work partially supported by the generosity of Keysight.

This course offers 0.10 CEUs / 1.0 PDH. To receive CEU/PDH, the course must be viewed in its entirety in addition to completing the knowledge check with an 80%.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has been approved as an Authorized Provider by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, VA 22102; (703) 506-3275. In obtaining this approval, the SWE has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET 1-2018 Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider membership status, SWE is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET 1-2018 Standard.