October 28, 2016
The Society of Women Engineers has released a new study documenting gender and racial biases within the engineering profession. Nearly one-third of respondents to the study offered comments, many of which provided examples of bias they’ve experienced first-hand. The results of the study suggest that workplace climate is tougher for women and people of color as compared with white men, the organization states.
More than 3,000 professionals with at least two years’ experience as engineers or engineering technicians completed the survey. Respondents were asked questions relating to four basic patterns of implicit bias: Prove-It-Again, Tightrope, Maternal Wall and Tug of War. Questions were also asked to gain insight into implicit bias in hiring, promotions, performance evaluations, access to networking and mentoring and compensation.
“The most surprising thing about the study was the flood of comments we received at the end of the survey,” said Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of law at the University of California, Hastings College of Law and Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law. “Our findings confirmed decades of research and allowed us to examine whether what’s been reported in social psychology labs goes on in actual workplaces. Often it does.”
For more information, visit the Society of Women Engineers.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.