Produced for the National Institute of Engineering Ethics, Henry’s Daughters targets engineering students and practicing engineers. It was distributed to engineering schools nationwide and translated into 12 languages. The video shows that good and well meaning people can unintentionally get into situations that may result
in unethical consequences. The video is designed to increase sensitivity to the ethical dimensions of professional work and encourage commitment to professional ethics and strengthen personal dedication to exemplary conduct.
Synopsis: Henry is a retired but still well-connected automobile executive and lobbyist. GUIDEME, a client of Henry, is involved in an academia-industry-Department of Transportation smart highway design competition called SANSHANDS. The project goal is to develop specifications for automated highways and car control systems so that people won’t have to drive anymore.
Laura, Henry’s oldest daughter, is a professional engineer who works at the Department of Transportation. She is the project manager, and responsible for compiling and recommending the specifications for the computer control system.
Julie is Henry’s younger daughter. With her father’s finagling, she is an intern with OUTOCAR, a local start-up company recently founded by state university engineers in partnership with the University’s Business Incubator. OUTOCAR is competing with
GUIDEME to take the design of SANSHANDS to the next level.
The story intertwines the lives of both young women and their father. They are excited to be involved with a project that will impact the future of transportation. While most of their discussions focus on technical and personal challenges, sometimes they unintentionally cross the ethical line by letting proprietary information slip out.
Ultimately, Laura’s team recommends OUTOCAR but the final award goes to GUIDEME. OUTOCAR personnel allege that ethical misconduct and possible criminal violations occurred during the project. Consequently, the state senate ethics commission holds a hearing and calls Laura and Henry to testify.
Henry’s Daughters highlights ethical issues encountered by the characters, such as professional relationships, conflicts of interest, favoritism, confidentiality, proprietary information, intellectual property, gender issues, sexual harassment, and individual privacy.