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Examining Gender Bias in Engineering in India

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Roberta Rincon Society of Women Engineers

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Dr. Roberta Rincon is the Senior Manager of Research with the Society of Women Engineers, where she oversees the organization’s research activities around issues impacting girls and women from elementary through college and into the engineering workforce. Before joining SWE, Roberta was a Senior Research and Policy Analyst at The University of Texas System, where she focused on student success and faculty teaching and research award programs across nine academic institutions. Roberta received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, an MBA and an M.S. in Information Management from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Planning from UT Austin.

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Rachel M. Korn University of California, Hastings College of the Law

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Rachel Korn is the Director of Research at the Center for WorkLife Law, a research and advocacy organization at UC Hastings College of the Law that seeks to advance gender and racial equity in the workplace and in higher education. Rachel is a Social Psychologist with a background in quantitative research methods and survey design. Her research at the Center has primarily focused on studying the correlates and consequences of gender, racial, and class bias in the workplace. Prior to joining WorkLife Law, Rachel was a Research Consultant at Circadia Labs, where she conducted research on empirical projects examining motivation in dreams using natural language processing. She also worked as Research Director for a city council campaign in Rochester, New York. Rachel holds a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Rochester. She received her Bachelor’s degree at Virginia Tech.

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Joan Chalmers Williams University of California, Hastings College of the Law

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Joan C. Williams is Distinguished Professor of Law, Hastings Foundation Chair, and Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She has written extensively on gender bias and women in STEM, with work published in sociology, psychology and law journals.

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In India, women currently earn about 32% of engineering and technology degrees. Studies have found that the climate in India is more welcoming to women engineering students than that found in U.S. engineering programs, with women consistently reporting that they are more confident and more respected than their male peers. However, women in India find that the the engineering workplace is not as hospitable. With an unemployment rate for women with engineering degrees at five times that of men, women engineers find it challenging to overcome the traditional gender stereotypes in India that discourage them from pursuing what many believe are jobs that require them to spend too much time away from household responsibilities. For women who do find work as engineers, there are still many barriers to overcome. This paper presents the findings from a study on the engineering workplace climate in India. High levels of bias were reported among women engineers in India at levels similar to those found in a study conducted on engineers in the U.S. Regression analyses showed that higher levels of bias were associated with feelings of exclusion, lower sense of belonging, and lower intent to stay with one’s employer.

Rincon, R., & Korn, R. M., & Williams, J. C. (2019, June), Examining Gender Bias in Engineering in India Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32777

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