Podcast: Navigating Gender Bias Preferences in the Workplace

Do women in STEM have to prove themselves more than men do? Are office politics more complicated for women than men? How does motherhood affect women engineers? In this SWE Diverse episode with WE19 Mega Session speaker Joan Williams, we'll address some of those gender bias issues and how to navigate them in the workplace.
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Episode 75: Joan Williams on Navigating Gender Bias Preferences in the Workplace

Joan Williams headshot
Joan Williams

Do women in STEM have to prove themselves more than men do? Are office politics more complicated for women than men? How does motherhood affect women engineers?

In this SWE Diverse episode, FY19 SWE President Cindy Hoover speaks with WE19 Mega Session speaker Joan Williams about her research in bias patterns, and how we can navigate those gender bias patterns in our own lives and careers. Joan is a Distinguished Law Professor and Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She has authored 11 books and over 90 academic articles and book chapters, and ranks among the top 10 scholars in her field. She has played a central role in reshaping the debates over women, work, and unconscious bias over the past quarter-century, and is widely known for her “bias interrupters,”—a new, evidence-based, metrics-driven approach to eradicating implicit bias.

“[Our research shows that] women in STEM have to prove themselves more than men do. Our data from the US showed that about 1/3 of white men—white male engineers—felt they had to prove themselves more than their colleagues, but about 2/3 of women did, and about 2/3 people of color did. So that’s attitudinal data, but it’s matched my almost 40 years of studies. This “Prove It Again” pattern is very strong; it has been documented both by objective data in the lab, and it has also been documented by people who are seeing it in the workplace.”

– Joan Williams, Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at University of California, Hastings College of the Law


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