Category Archives: Legal

What We’re Reading

Three cheers for Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues in Congress, who rolled out their new economic agenda for women and families on Thursday! Children’s storybook characters “often inhabit a bygone, male breadwinner-female homemaker era.” Eager to appeal to women voters, male politicians are shooting campaign ads in their kitchens. The results? Mixed. Techies and attorneys, […]

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Take a Look! The New Girls’ Network ‘Finding Your Voice’ Event Hosted by Kirkland and Ellis

On April 4, 2013, the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis hosted the inaugural New Girls’ Network event, “Finding Your Voice.” The event included an interview with famed opera star Renée Fleming, a panel discussion with Vernā Myers, Sheli Rosenberg, and Michele Coleman Mayes, and an interview of Pfizer Inc. General Counsel Amy Schulman and Pfizer Inc. […]

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Dying Childless at Thirty? Won’t Help

Co-written with Katherine Ullman. Joan once wrote that the way for women to gain equality was to die childless at thirty, based on data that young women without kids earn almost as much as men. Turns out even that won’t guarantee equality. A new report released last week by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) finds that the […]

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Back to Work, with Cigars

The Labor Day op-ed I co-authored with Anne-Marie Slaughter was written before I read a stupendous, and sobering, article by Erin Kelly, a sociologist at University of Minnesota, who is one of the foremost work-family researchers in the country. (All data and quotes in this article are from her study.) Kelly’s 2010 study estimated that only about half of […]

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Can Mothers Found Start-Ups? (Hint: Yes)

An article in this weekend’s New York Times shed some more light on Silicon Valley’s worst-kept secret: it has a woman problem. Its look at female founders of tech start-ups who also have children shows a remarkable lack of self-consciousness about Maternal Wall bias, the strongest and most open form of gender bias today. According to the article, women make […]

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The “Uppity Women” of Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley was hit hard last week when venture capitalist Ellen Pao’s lawsuit against former employer Kleiner Perkins was made public. Among other things, Pao alleged that she had been sexually harassed by more than one male co-worker, and retaliated against when she complained. She also claimed that women at the firm were discriminated against “by failing […]

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Heavy Lifting, Part II: Discrimination Against Mothers is the Strongest Form of Gender Bias

Co-written with Rachel Dempsey. In the last post, Joan talked about the problem of pregnancy discrimination against women in hourly jobs – cases where mothers were refused simple accommodations that would help them have healthy pregnancies. Discrimination against pregnant women and mothers is a huge problem for working-class women, for whom a single missed day […]

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Heavy Lifting: Pregnant Women are Forced to Carry an Extra Load in the Workforce

In the 1970s, after it became illegal to discriminate based on race, some employers responded by imposing high school education requirements for blue-collar jobs. Today, employers who want to keep women out of “men’s jobs” do something similar: they wait until workers get pregnant, and then deny them “light duty,” like desk work for a […]

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