Joan C. Williams

Joan Williams headshot

Joan C. Williams Williams is Distinguished Professor of Law and Hastings Foundation Chair at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She has played a central role in reshaping the debates over women’s advancement for the past quarter-century. Her awards include the Families and Work Institute Work Life Legacy Award (2014), Hastings Visionary Award (2013), American Bar Foundation’s Outstanding Scholar Award (2012), the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award (2012), the ABA’s Margaret Brent Award for Women Lawyers of Achievement (2006), the Distinguished Publication Award of the Association for Women in Psychology (2003) and the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award (2000).

She has authored or co-authored eight books, most recently What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know (co-written with her daughter, Rachel Dempsey). Williams is the author of more than 100 academic articles and book chapters, including “Deconstructing Gender,” listed in 1996 as one of the most cited law review articles ever written. Williams has lectured at virtually every major American university, and appears widely in the press in outlets as diverse as the Harvard Business Review, O Magazine, Human Resource Executive, Jezebel and the Yale Law Journal. She has also taught at Harvard Law School and the University of Virginia Law School.

Williams is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, most recently publishing “Hacking Tech’s Diversity Problem” last October. The article introduces a new approach to implicit bias: Bias Interrupters, which interrupt bias through the redesign of basic business systems. Facebook’s implicit bias training is based on Williams’ approach.

Other Profiles you might like

Jamie Huber-Ward Photo

Jamie Huber Ward

Jamie Huber Ward is the Associate Director of Extension Services and a social scientist with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) at

Read More »
Gretchen Achenbach Photo

Gretchen Achenbach

Dr. Gretchen Achenbach is a Research Scientist with NCWIT and in the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia. Dr. Achenbach works

Read More »
Janice Zdankus Photo

Janice Zdankus

Janice Zdankus is Vice President of Quality in Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Customer Experience and Quality team.  In this role, Janice and her team are transforming

Read More »
Scroll to Top