August 21, 2017
By Roberta Rincon, Ph.D., SWE Research Manager
SWE has been conducting various professional development events in India for the past few years, and we are excited about the energy we see from everyone we meet! As we have learned more about the experiences of women working in engineering in India, we felt that there was great potential to expand our activities in the region. With the success of our recent study of gender bias in the U.S. engineering workforce, we decided that it made sense to conduct our first international research study on the same topic – and India was the perfect country to launch this exciting project.
In partnership with the Center for WorkLife Law, SWE hosted focus group sessions in August in Bangalore and Pune to learn more about the experiences women in India have had with gender bias in the engineering workplace. Based on what we learned, the survey utilized in the U.S.-based study will be adapted to better reflect the ways in which gender bias is experienced in Indian workplaces.
We appreciated the opportunity to present on the gender bias research that will provide the framework for the India study. Drawing from research by gender bias expert Joan C. Williams, Hastings Foundation Chair at the University of California (Hastings), Dr. Rachel Korn of the Center for WorkLife Law described the five bias patterns that commonly affect women engineers, as well as strategies that can be used to navigate them. We thank General Motors for hosting the presentation in Bangalore, as well as our Bangalore Affiliate and Ambassadors for helping to make this presentation possible.
SWE will work with the Center for WorkLife Law to conduct the study in India over the next few months. A final report is expected in Spring 2018. It will be posted on the SWE Research website as well as the SWE India website when completed.