Unconscious Bias Featured Sessions

Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 8:00am-11:45am EDT

The Unconscious Bias Featured Sessions located in the Miami room of the Orlando World Center Marriot are a part of the Leadership Development Topical Conference.

Unconscious bias (or implicit bias) refers to unconscious beliefs or stereotypes that influence our actions and decisions when interacting with other people. Learn about identifying and addressing unconscious bias in these featured sessions.

Session Chairs:

  • Sindia Rivera-Jimenez, University of Florida
  • Bindu Krishnan, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Workshop: Understanding Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

    The participants of this active-learning workshop will learn the concept of unconscious bias, examine resources on how to identify their own biases,  raise awareness of how unconscious biases work, and how they can influence interactions in the workplace.

    Panel Discussion: Real Stories of Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

    10:15 AM - 11:45 AM

    Unconscious bias (or implicit bias) refers to unconscious beliefs or stereotypes that influence our actions and decisions when interacting with other people.  Come hear from professionals across the discipline share their perspectives on this important topic.


    10:15 – 10:25: Cynthia Murphy-Ortega, Chevron

    10:25 – 10:35: Kevin J Edwards, Bechtel Infrastructure

    10:35 – 10:45: Bill Byers, CH2M HILL

    10:45 – 10:55: LaRuth McAfee, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    10:55 – 11:40: Panel Discussion, Moderated by Sindia Rivera Jimenez, University of Florida

    11:40 – 11:45: Concluding Remarks


    William D. Byers

    Byers’ career has covered 29 years. He is currently Vice President for the Energy, Environment, and Systems Group of CH2M HILL. He started his career as a research engineer with Fractionation Research, Inc., and later served as process engineer for Fluor Engineers and Constructors before joining CH2M HILL.Read more

    Kevin Edwards

    Kevin Edwards leads the Culture, Inclusion and Diversity program at Bechtel Corporate.  This involves recruiting efforts at several key partner schools and minority professional conferences to bring diverse, engineering, procurement and construction talent to the organization.  Additionally, the talent management, promotion process, ERGs and/or other people processes will be updated to support our inclusion and diversity commitments.

    Previous Experience

    Prior to this role, Kevin was Corporate Quality & Six Sigma’s Integration and Effectiveness Manager...Read more

    Bindu Krishnan

    Bindu Krishnan, currently technical leader for the Adhesive, Sealants and Binder segment in the Polyurethane Business is responsible for the strategy and technology development of a fully formulated adhesive for the construction & infrastructure market.Read more

    LaRuth McAfee

    Dr. LaRuth McAfee joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School in July 2014 as Assistant Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Funding. In this role she oversees programs aimed at increasing the number and success of diverse graduate students through recruitment efforts, initiatives to support students while at UW-Madison, and support of academic program-based diversity initiatives.Read more

    Cynthia Murphy-Ortega

    Cynthia Murphy-Ortega is currently a Manager with University Partnerships and Association Relations of Chevron Corporation. Her organization manages Chevron’s relationships with universities and professional societies and institutes throughout the world. Cynthia joined Chevron in 1991 as an engineer with the Richmond Refinery in the San Francisco Bay Area. She held various engineering, maintenance, operations, financial, business planning and process safety management positions within the refinery. Cynthia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Davis.Read more

    Sindia Rivera-Jiménez

    Dr. Rivera-Jiménez is currently a Lecturer at the Institute for Excellence in Engineering Education (IE3) at the University of Florida. In this role, she works towards creating educational content for the Chemical Engineering Department, community outreach activities, and First-Year design classes. Her research focuses on understanding the processes that contribute to the persistence and retention of underrepresented minorities in academic engineering programs.Read more