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Senior Research Scholar, Clayman Institute for Gender Research; Adjunct Professor

Mechanical Engineering

Jan 2017
A practical interest of ours at the Designing Education Lab is to create a set of recommendations for undergraduate educators and people hiring those undergraduates.

We will recommend how to create environments where new graduates really thrive and find meaning in their work, and make connections between what they learned in college and what they’re actually doing in the workplace.

A particular interest of mine is in understanding how men and women experience engineering work and interactions in college, and then how these experiences change over time, as engineering students graduate, enter the workforce and begin to navigate career pathways and “ladders.” Why do we see so few women in leadership positions in engineering-intensive firms? Are there opportunities to make substantive changes in engineering education, cultures and work environments from the very beginning to better support leadership opportunities for everybody?

Social science research shows that there is a significant amount of unintentional, inadvertent gender bias in performance evaluation and leadership channels. My collaborations at both the Designing Education Lab and the Clayman Institute for Gender Research critically examine this bias and design interventions to minimize it. I am particularly jazzed by the possibility that new perspectives on gender and diversity can so deeply, positively influence engineering design and practice. This underscores ever more the need to understand engineering cultures and opportunity structures as “lived” by young students, working engineers and the public at large.

Amanda Law