Ethical Design of Gendered Products

O. Roy, and C. McComb

2018, Engineering, Social Justice and Peace Conference

Engineers and marketers often design products for specific genders in order to segment the market. Sometimes ergonomics and function determine the perceived gender of a product, but often it is arbitrary. Research in gender studies shows us that these arbitrarily gendered products force consumers into gender roles and support stereotypes of femininity and masculinity. Within this context, the workshop will ask conference attendees to consider the following questions: Who is ethically responsible for the creation and consumption of products? How can engineers and designers create more inclusive designs? The goal of this workshop is to provide a forum for discussing the cultural and ethical implications of gendered products and to provide participants with an opportunity to engage firsthand in the process of designing ethically gendered products. The workshop will be delivered in a way that is accessible for both technical and non-technical conference attendees.