Professional Culture and Inequality in Engineering

March 7, 2018 @ 11:10 pm – 12:00 pm
Galbraith Building
35 St George St
Toronto, ON M5S 1A4

University of Michigan Professor, Dr. Erin A. Cech as part of ILead seminar series (11:10 am – 12:00 pm, GB 202, Wednesday, March 7).

Summary: The professional cultures, which give each discipline its particular “feel” and unite members under a system of meaning and values, are not benign. Dr. Cech will explain how these cultures can disadvantage women and other under-represented groups in STEM. Specifically, she’ll discuss the role of three cultural ideologies in producing disadvantage: schemas of scientific excellence, depoliticization, and the meritocratic ideology. She’ll end by explaining why decisions that partially rely on assessments of a person’s “fit” with a professional culture, such as admissions, hiring, tenure, are particularly important to examine for their potential to contribute to inequality.