Joan Williams | AIChE

Joan Williams

Hastings Foundation Chair and Founding Director
University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Joan C. Williams is a Hastings Foundation Chair and Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She has authored 11 books and 115 academic articles and book chapters, and ranks among the top 10 scholars in her field. She lectures widely. Her work has been covered in outlets as diverse as the Harvard Business Review, Oprah Magazine, Human Resource Executive, Jezebel, and the Yale Law Journal. Williams holds an honorary PhD from Utrecht University in the Netherlands for her research on workplace bias, received the Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology (2005), and a prestigious invitation to summarize her field in the Annual Review of Psychology (2016). For her contributions to women in engineering, she received the President's Award from the Society of Women Engineers in 2019.

Williams has played a central role in reshaping the debates over women, work, and unconscious bias over the past quarter-century. She is widely known for her “bias interrupters,”—an evidence-based metrics-driven approach to eradicating implicit bias introduced in Harvard Business Review in 2014.

Williams’ influential studies on implicit bias in STEM include a study of science professors—Double Jeopardy? Gender Bias Against Women in STEM (co-authored with Katherine Phillips & Erika Hall) and two studies of engineers—Climate Control: Gender and Racial Bias in Engineering? And Walking the Tightrope: An Examination of Bias in India’s Engineering Workplace. The first study examines how the experience of gender bias differs by race. The second study examines the parallels and differences between implicit bias based on gender and race. Williams has developed tools for advancing and retaining women in STEM, which are available on