LGBT Info

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Erin Cech is a doctoral student in Sociology at the University of California, San Diego and received bachelor's degrees in Electrical Engineering and Sociology from Montana State University. Her research examines the role of gender schemas in the reproduction of labor market gender inequality, the intersection of technology and social justice, and inequalities in science and engineering. Cech's research examines cultural mechanisms of inequality reproduction--specifically, how inequality is reproduced through processes that are not overtly discriminatory or coercive, but rather those that are built into seemingly innocuous cultural beliefs and practices. She investigates this puzzle through three avenues of research. First, she uses quantitative and qualitative approaches to examine inequality in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions--specifically, the recruitment and retention of women, LGBT, and under-represented racial/ethnic minority students and practitioners and the role of professional cultures in this inequality. Second, Cech examines how cultural definitions of “good work” and “good workers” can anchor inequality in the workforce. For example, she examines the role of the “passion principle” in the reproduction of occupational inequalities: how seemingly voluntary and self-expressive career decisions help reproduce processes like occupational sex segregation. Finally, she studies how cultural understandings of the extent and origin of inequality help to uphold unequal social structures. Cech’s research is funded by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation. She is a member of the editorial board of the American Sociological Review and her research has been cited in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Time, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Forbes, Chronicle of Higher Education and the news sections of Science and Nature.