Panel Discussion on SWE Research of Gender Bias in India

A panel discussion in Bengaluru, India will cover recent SWE research and implications of bias in the workplace.
Panel Discussion on SWE Research of Gender Bias in India

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) will host a panel discussion on April 15, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at IISc, Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, India. The panel discussion will cover SWE’s latest research on gender bias in the engineering workforce in India. The study, Walking the Tightrope, reveals that both genders experience bias, however in different forms. The report found high levels of bias across the board, including in assignments, promotions, compensation, sponsorship and mentoring programs, and in performance evaluations.

Four panelists will participate in the panel which will cover key findings from the SWE research and conclude with a discussion on implications of bias in the workplace.


Paul Robichaud headshotPaul Robichaud | Managing Director, SWE India

Mr. Robichaud is originally from Chicago, Illinois, USA and has lived in Chennai for the past 14 years. He has over 30 years of business experience, primarily in the US, Europe and Asia. Paul has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Southern Illinois University.

He began his professional career in sales and marketing in the US and has worked with Multinationals such as GAF, and Mallinckrodt Chemical. He has also worked extensively with SME’s and has led one start up in the US as well as three start ups in India as an owner and partner. The start-ups have been in diverse fields such as manufacturing for lighting products, garments and auto components, as well as consulting and training. He has worked with Indian manufacturers such as Ucal Auto, Sundram Fasteners, and Lakshmi Machine Works. Mr. Robichaud has advised software companies such as Benseron Information technologies and Eco-axis.

Paul has been working with The Society of Women Engineers for the last 2.5 years and leads overall operations and activities for SWE in India. Paul works in tandem with the SWE management to carry out the SWE mission which is to empower women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering and technology professions and demonstrate the value of diversity and inclusion.


Panel Discussion on SWE Research of Gender Bias in IndiaNeeti Sanan | India Research Consultant, Society of Women Engineers

Neeti Sanan is India consultant to the research study conducted by the Society of Women Engineers on the existing bias in India’s engineering workplace. Her research interests lie in the field of corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and board gender diversity. She has presented her work at various national and international forums. Some of her latest publications include Influence of Board Characteristics on CSR in Indian Firms and Impact of Board Gender Diversity on Firm Performance. An alumnus of Hindu College, University of Delhi, Neeti holds a management degree from IIM Ahmedabad and has a doctorate in corporate governance from AMU, Aligarh. She comes with more than 23 years of experience which includes association with IIM Udaipur and private business schools in New Delhi offering courses on Corporate Finance, International Finance and Business Ethics. Prior to that, she worked with American Express Bank.


Panel Discussion on SWE Research of Gender Bias in IndiaNithya Rajagopalan | Director of Engineering, Procurement Cloud Software, SAP Ariba

Nithya Rajagopalan is currently the Director of Engineering for Strategic Procurement related products in SAP Ariba. She is a technical leader in cloud computing and machine learning. She has experience in various domains like Telecom, IoT and Retail which accounts for the 7 patents that she has in her name. She is an advocate for girls in technology and women in engineering and has done multiple programs in this area. She is also leading the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in SAP Ariba. Her favorite hobby is birding and wildlife photography which she likes to do with her family.


Brian McMurray HeadshotBrian McMurray | Vice President Engineering and Operations, General Motors Technical Center India

Brian McMurray is the Vice President of Engineering and Operations as well as the full time Director of General Motors Technical Centre India. He has been with GM since 1997 and has held various leadership positions during his stint with GM. He has global experience having worked in England, China, Canada, US and Australia.

He moved to India in 2014. At GMTC-I he is committed to building a culture of safety, diversity and inclusiveness. An ambassador of the CSR lead initiatives focused in driving the message that “giving back to the community” adds to collective growth.

The journey of a lifetime began when he started working at the age of 12 with his father and grandfather. His upbringing was simple, filled with life lessons – the most important one about family, that has made him what he is today. You will often see him claim “family comes first” and see it in action when he enables his team members to prioritize family as the integral part of their existence. Always encouraging his teams to stay focused at growing as a “whole” because we all bring our “wholesome” selves to work.

A hands-on father who believes “parenting” can be challenging but is also most gratifying. His driving force each day is – “How can I add value to this world” and “How can I make a difference in someone else’s life.”

Motor racing has always been his passion and he indulged in racing Go Karts, Sports Sedans and being a part of HQ Racing team in Australia. Right from a tender age of 3, he would lend a helping hand in his garage as his Dad built and raced GM cars.  He loves building cars and thrives in being part of an organization that is at the forefront of redefining what the future of mobility will look like.