Monday, September 15, 2014

"Economic Gender Gap Will Close"

....or, so argues a writer featured in the NYT.  More: 

The first book, “Why Gender Matters in Economics” (Princeton University Press, 2014) by Mukesh Eswaran, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia, draws on data from past economic studies conducted under laboratory conditions to show how gender influences financial actions and relationships.

And more: 

In one set of these experiments, called the dictator game, women were found to be more generous than men. Players were given $10 and allowed but not required to hand out some of it to a hidden and anonymous partner.Women, on average, gave away $1.61 of the $10, whereas men gave away only 82 cents.

September 15, 2014 in Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Members of Congress Submit Amicus in Pregnancy Accommodation Case

NWLC Submits Amicus Brief on Behalf of 123 Members of Congress in Supreme Court Case

[T]he National Women’s Law Center and law firm Jenner & Block submitted an amicus brief on behalf of 123 Members of Congress in the Supreme Court pregnancy discrimination case, Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.; the brief highlights the plain language, legislative history and intent of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which Congress passed in 1978.  In Young, the Supreme Court will decide for the first time whether the PDA requires an employer to provide light duty to a worker if she needs it because of pregnancy, when the employer provides light duty to workers with similar limitations in ability to work arising out of disability or on-the-job injury.  The brief argues that the plain language and legislative history of the PDA demonstrate that an employer may not deny accommodations for medical needs arising out of pregnancy that it provides to other workers based on a similar inability to work.

 

In 2006, Peggy Young, a pregnant UPS delivery driver in Landover, Maryland, was instructed by her medical provider to avoid heavy lifting during her pregnancy.  Although UPS routinely accommodates employees who need light duty because they have a disability or an on-the-job injury—and even when they lose their commercial driver’s license because of a D.U.I. conviction—it forced Young to take a leave of absence for the rest of her pregnancy, causing her to lose her wages and her health insurance coverage. Young sued UPS, but two lower courts ruled against her, finding that the company’s refusal to accommodate pregnancy when it accommodated the medical needs of other workers with similar limitations in ability to work did not constitute pregnancy discrimination

 

From HuffPo: More than 120 Lawmakers Urge Supreme Court to Protect Pregnant Workers

More than 120 members of Congress urged the Supreme Court on Thursday to recognize that pregnant workers are entitled to reasonable accommodations such as light duty, saying it's needed to ensure that expecting mothers are not forced out of their jobs.

 

 In a friend-of-the-court brief, the Democratic lawmakers — 99 from the House, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and 24 senators — said UPS delivery driver Peggy Young of Lorton, Virginia, was unfairly treated by her employer when it asked her to take unpaid maternity leave rather than provide a less strenuous position as her doctors advised.

 

September 14, 2014 in Family, Reproductive Rights, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tying Record, Women Named to Japanese Parliament

From the NYT: 

TOKYO — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan unveiled a reshuffled cabinet on Wednesday that included five women, an apparent nod toward his promises to raise the status of women in the workplace. The appointments tie the record for the number of women in top political positions in Japan.

And: 

Since taking office in December 2012, Mr. Abe has spoken of the need to revive Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, by more fully unleashing the potential of its huge pool of highly educated women, who have long been relegated to relatively low-ranking positions in the work force.

September 5, 2014 in International, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"Ban Bossy" and Its Critic

Sheryl Sandberg has championed the Ban Bossy campaign, and at least one feminist has criticized both her for doing so and the campaign itself.  

September 3, 2014 in Theory, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 25, 2014

CFP: Applied Feminism and Work

CALL FOR PAPERS: "APPLIED FEMINISM AND WORK"

 

The University of Baltimore School of Law’s Center on Applied Feminism seeks submissions for its Eighth Annual Feminist Legal Theory Conference.  This year’s theme is “Applied Feminism and Work.”  The conference will be held on March 5 and 6, 2015.  For more information about the conference, please visit law.ubalt.edu/caf.

 

As the nation emerges from the recession, work and economic security are front and center in our national policy debates.  Women earn less than men, and the new economic landscape impacts men and women differently.  At the same time, women are questioning whether to Lean In or Lean Out, and what it means to “have it all.”  The conference will build on these discussions. As always, the Center’s conference will serve as a forum for scholars, practitioners and activists to share ideas about applied feminism, focusing on the intersection of theory and practice to effectuate social change.  The conference seeks papers that discuss this year’s theme through the lens of an intersectional approach to feminist legal theory, addressing not only the premise of seeking justice for all people on behalf of their gender but also the interlinked systems of oppression based on race, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, immigration status, disability, and geographical and historical context.

 

Papers might explore the following questions:  What impact has feminist legal theory had on the workplace? How does work impact gender and vice versa?  How might feminist legal theory respond to issues such as stalled immigration reform, economic inequality, pregnancy accommodation, the low-wage workforce, women’s access to economic opportunities, family-friendly work environments, paid sick and family leave, decline in unionization, and low minimum wage rates?  What sort of support should society and law provide to ensure equal employment opportunities that provide for security for all?  How do law and feminist legal theory conceptualize the role of the state and the private sector in relation to work?  Are there rights to employment and what are their foundations?  How will the recent Supreme Court Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn decisions impact economic opportunities for women?  How will the new EEOC guidance on pregnancy accommodation and the Young v. UPS upcoming Supreme Court decision affect rights of female workers? 

 

The conference will provide an opportunity for participants and audience members to exchange ideas about the current state of feminist legal theories.  We hope to deepen our understandings of how feminist legal theory relates to work and to move new insights into practice.  In addition, the conference is designed to provide presenters with the opportunity to gain feedback on their papers. 

 

The conference will begin the afternoon of Thursday, March 5, 2015, with a workshop.   This workshop will continue the annual tradition of involving all attendees as participants in an interactive discussion and reflection.   On Friday, March 6, 2015, the conference will continue with a day of presentations regarding current scholarship and/or legal work that explores the application of feminist legal theory to issues involving health.   The conference will be open to the public and will feature a keynote speaker. Past keynote speakers have included Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, Dr. Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sheryl WuDunn, Senators Barbara Mikulski and Amy Klobuchar, and NOW President Terry O’Neill.

 

To submit a paper proposal, please submit an abstract by Friday, 5 p.m. on October 31, 2014, to ubfeministconference@gmail.com.  It is essential that your abstract contain your full contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address where you can be reached.  In the “Re” line, please state:  CAF Conference 2015.  Abstracts should be no longer than one page.  We will notify presenters of selected papers in mid-November.  We anticipate being able to have twelve paper presenters during the conference on Friday, March 6, 2015. About half the presenter slots will be reserved for authors who commit to publishing in the symposium volume of the University of Baltimore Law Review.  Thus, please indicate at the bottom of your abstract whether you are submitting (1) solely to present or (2) to present and publish in the symposium volume.  Authors who are interested in publishing in the Law Review will be strongly considered for publication.  Regardless of whether or not you are publishing in the symposium volume, all working drafts of symposium-length or article-length papers will be due no later than February 13, 2015.   Abstracts will be posted on the Center on Applied Feminism’s conference website to be shared with other participants and attendees.   Presenters are responsible for their own travel costs; the conference will provide a discounted hotel rate, as well as meals. 

 

We look forward to your submissions.  If you have further questions, please contact Prof. Margaret Johnson at majohnson@ubalt.edu.

 

 

August 25, 2014 in Call for Papers, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Higher Tenure Rates for Men--Why?

Tracy had posted about three female professors at Northeastern who had been denied tenure recently.  On a related note, there is an article in Inside Higher Ed which takes note that more men than women have gained and are likely to gain tenure.  The question, of course, is why.

From IHE: 

In discussions about the gender gap among tenured professors at research universities, there is little dispute that there are far more men than women with tenure in most disciplines. But why? Many have speculated that men are outperforming women in research, which is particularly valued over teaching and service at research universities. With women (of those with children) shouldering a disproportionate share of child care, the theory goes, they may not be able to keep up with publishing and research to the same extent as their male counterparts.

And: 

Not only are men more likely than women to earn tenure, but in computer science and sociology, they are significantly more likely to earn tenure than are women who have the same research productivity. In English men are slightly (but not in a statistically significant way) more likely than women to earn tenure.

But: 

“It’s not that we need to make women more productive. It’s that we need to change the processes," said Kate Weisshaar, a graduate student at Stanford University who did the study.

Check out IHE article for Weisshaar's study.  

 

August 19, 2014 in Equal Employment, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Virginity as requirement to teach in Brazil

According to Salon

Good luck getting a teaching job in São Paulo if you’re a woman who doesn’t want to undergo a pap smear or have a doctor certify your virginity in a written note. As outlined by a 2012 law that might well have been written decades (or even centuries) earlier, women who wish to become teachers in Brazil’s most populous state must undergo invasive gynecological exams to test for a variety of cancers, ostensibly to determine if the candidates pose a risk of taking extended absences to cope with an illness.

August 18, 2014 in Reproductive Rights, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The NBA has its first female union leader, a lawyer

She is Michele Roberts, a Boalt graduate, from a tough background.  

August 17, 2014 in Manliness, Masculinities, Women lawyers, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Gender Egalitarian Attitudes are No Longer Stalled, But are Not Much Better

Last week a Council on Contemporary Families online symposium provided new data suggesting that the stall in progress on gender egalitarian attitudes and behaviors has ended. Evidence has accumulated, and a stall in attitudes that started around 1994 may have turned around after 2004.

Long live the gender stall. Here’s what gets me. The change in attitudes is not due to men and women becoming more similar in their attitudes. Under gender egalitarianism (ideally) you wouldn’t be able to predict someone’s views based on their gender. But… in the graphs here, there’s no hint of gender convergence. The figure on the left from Cotter et al., shows that people are at a higher level of approving of gender egalitarianism. But, men and women are the same distance apart.
 
***
 
Youth stalled too? Younger generations—millenials in particular—are at a much higher level of egalitarian attitudes than others. But… in the Cotter analysis, younger generations’ support for gender equality isn’t increasing—they just started at a higher level. The trend is flat.
 
***
 
Except for one area. When asked what they think of the statement, “it is better if a man works and a woman takes care of the home,” students disagree with this less and less. In other words, they are not as likely to reject traditional gender roles as young people in the past. They dropped by 10 percent in the past 20 years (from 70 percent disagreeing to 60 percent disagreeing). While they are at 90 percent agreement that women should be considered as seriously for jobs as executives or politicians, Pepin speculates that for millennial “women are viewed as peers in entering the work force, but continue to be responsible for labor at home.”
 

August 14, 2014 in Gender, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Overwork as Threat to Gender Equality

On the one hand, there is the good news

The new data presented by David Cotter and his co-authors suggest that support for gender equality and respect for women’s ability to combine work and family have resumed their upward progress. Other evidence reveals that millennial men express greater interest in more involved fatherhood and want more balance between work and family than previous generations. 

But: 

....it remains to be seen whether these ideological changes will substantively reduce such structural inequalities as men’s continuing earnings advantage over women and women’s underrepresentation in highly paid occupations.

August 3, 2014 in Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

WaPo Reports on Changing Attitudes to Women at Workplace

The story: 

 It’s not just younger Millennials who are embracing gender equality. David Cotter, a sociologist at Union College, and his co-authors foundthat support has been rising since 2006 among all age groups, among both men and women and among conservatives and liberals. Conservatives, actually, though their total numbers are lower than liberals, show the greatest increase in support.

But there's this: 

Good news for Hillary: More than three-fourths of Americans now say that men and women are equally suited to politics, up from just 48 percent in 1977.

Only three-fourths?  

August 3, 2014 in Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Gender-Audit" for Art by British Parliament

The story

Parliament's art should be subject to a "gender-audit" amid concerns that the paintings and sculptures are too "white and male", a report endorsed by all three party leaders has found.

And: 

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Women said that the art in Westminster is "off-putting" for female MPs and warns that the language, culture and ceremonies of Parliament are too "masculine".

The Houses of Commons is ranked 65th in the world for female representatives behind Rwanda, Cuba, Angola and the majority of Latin American and Scandinavian nations.

The report recommends a series of radical steps to redress the balance, including gender quotas and a zero-tolerance approach to "raucous, ill-mannered" and "testosterone-fuelled" behaviour.

July 15, 2014 in International, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Goldman Sachs Being Sued for Gender Discrimination

From Bloomberg Businessweek

“I believe that Goldman Sachs maintains a culture of bias against women. I have witnessed firsthand Goldman Sachs’ pervasive boys’ club culture. I also believe that having children has negatively affected my opportunities for advancement,” wrote one Lisa Albanese, a former vice president in the equities division who says that she was never promoted to the managing director level despite her status as a top performer. “In order to be successful at Goldman Sachs, I had to tolerate offensive language from male co-workers and a boys’ club atmosphere.”

Chen-Oster reports that she was sexually assaulted by a male co-worker at a staff dinner in 1997 and then discouraged from reporting it to human resources. Years later, after taking maternity leave, she says she found all her juiciest assignments handed off to male colleagues. “If Goldman Sachs were a better place for women to work and I thought that I would not be treated differently from men, I would seek a career there,” she writes.

“In my experience, entertaining clients at strip clubs was considered routine for Goldman in the U.S.,” writes Katalin Tischhauser, who worked on the convertible bond desk in London. She describes a visit to a conference in New Orleans in 2001 where her American colleagues took clients to a strip club and paid the strippers to entertain them. According to the complaint, the firm began discouraging new associates from taking clients to strip clubs in 2005 but did so with a nod and a wink, telling them that if they went, they should simply not expense it.

 

July 10, 2014 in Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

President Obama Calls for Paid Maternity Leave

From the WSJ, Obama Calls for Family-Friendly Workplace Policies

President Barack Obama on Monday called for paid parental leave and other family-friendly policies, part of a broader effort to win more flexibility for workers.

 

"There is only one developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave," Mr. Obama told a summit on working families hosted by the White House. "And that is us. And that is not the list you want to be on by your lonesome."

 

Mr. Obama stopped short of offering a federal plan that would grant paid leave, instead offering modest steps such as directing federal agencies to implement existing flexible workplace policies, urging Congress to enact a law mandating "reasonable accommodations" for pregnant women and releasing funds to help workers access child care while in training.

June 24, 2014 in Family, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 16, 2014

An outsider to help an outsider

I've blogged about Gianmarco Monsellato's admirable initiative to ensure that women lawyers in his large French law firm get equal pay and equal assignments as do their male counterparts.  

Monsellato believes that the popular American approach to form "diversity committees" and to "lean in" are absurd because the partners themselves have all the power and that genuine fairness must be initiated by them.  

A female CEO blogger for the Harvard Business Review Blog notes that those partners like Monsellato are themselves "outsiders" to their firms and that it might very well take such an outsider to implement serious changes: 

Interestingly, in my experience, most of the leaders who’ve pushed hardest for gender balance are themselves not fully members of their companies’ dominant majority. They are often a different nationality than most of their colleagues, or the first non-home- country CEO. So, for example, the Peruvian-born Carlos Ghosn at Nissan in Japan, the Dutch Marijn Dekkers at BAYER (disclosure: they are a client) in Germany, or the Italian Monsellato at TAJ in France.

There is nothing better than being a bit of an outsider to understand the particular stickiness of the in-group’s hold on power. These are some of the more enlightened leaders on gender balance. They build true meritocracies, they get the best of 100% of the global talent pool – and they will win a huge competitive edge in this century of globalization.

 

June 16, 2014 in Women lawyers, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Hillary Clinton's Book Reviewed

In the Guardian UK

Sure, Clinton jokes in the book about scrunchies and outfits and nail polish to make her point that woman in public life are forced under a microscope. "There is a persistent double standard applied to women in politics," she writes, "regarding clothes, body types, and of course hairstyles."

But Clinton is still not ready to talk – at least not in a substantive way – about what it meant to be the first woman to go so far, yet still fall short, in the race for the 2008 Democratic nomination. And she is certainly not saying, in Hard Choices or in the rounds of interviews and appearances surrounding its release, how she would overcome biases on women seeking power when and if she decides to run in 2016.

It's about time she did.

June 13, 2014 in Theory, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"Returnship" Programs for Women Re-entering Law Practice

From WashPost, Women and Work: Opt out or pushed out? The data.

In recent weeks, four law firms announced the first-ever, one-year “On Ramp” fellowships designed to help people — primarily women — who left the workforce to start families, care for aging parents or pursue other opportunities get back into the legal profession.

 

Baker Botts, Cooley, Hogan Lovells and Sidley Austin have chosen nine women out of a pool of 170. The women had been out of the workforce for between three and 20 years. Other “returnship” programs for women who’ve been sidelined have been offered at Goldman Sachs, Sara Lee, Credit Suisse and others. The BBC just ran a piece on the Credit Suisse program.

 

Some call women leaving the workforce in order to balance work and family life “opting out.” Social scientists who study workplace culture say it’s more like they were “pushed out” because workplaces require long, demanding hours of face time and see flexible or part-time work as almost a sign of weakness. And, unlike in other advanced economies, there are no policies or laws that give real support to working families.

June 10, 2014 in Women lawyers, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

MN Governor Signs Women's Economic Security Act

Minnesota Governor Signs Women's Economic Security Act

The Women’s Economic Security Act includes 9 pieces of legislation that address a variety of issues women face in the workplace. The act will work to narrow the compensation gap between men and women in Minnesota by requiring larger-sized businesses  that contract with the state at a certain amount to undergo a pay equity analysis and earn an “equal pay certificate.” The act also bans salary secrecy, doubles unpaid maternity leave time from 6 weeks to 12 weeks, creates more employment protections for nursing and pregnant women, and creates “safety leave” for those who need time off due to sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking, among several other changes.

June 7, 2014 in Equal Employment, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Gender Bias at UCLA's B-School

From the WSJ

And the accompanying text: 

One of the nation's top-ranked business schools is "inhospitable to women faculty," according to an internal academic review.

Faculty of the Anderson Graduate School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles, received a confidential copy of the review, conducted by a group of university professors and outside business-school deans, in April. The next day, the institution's first female dean, Judy Olian, met with the heads of several other elite business schools at the White House, where the group discussed business schools' roles in making workplaces friendlier to women and working families.

June 6, 2014 in Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Choudhury on Gender Diversity

Barnali Choudhury, Queen Mary University, London, has uploded Gender Diversity on Boards: Beyond Quotas.  The abstract reads:  

Worldwide there is a growing interest in increasing the number of women on boards. While quotas have been proposed in many countries as a way to address this problem, several countries, including, Germany have rejected this approach. Nevertheless, it is apparent that change is needed as women continue to represent minorities on boards of some of the largest companies. 

Moreover, increasing the number of women on boards can be beneficial to firms. While it is not clear whether there is a positive relationship between increasing the number of women on boards and firm profitability, it is clearer that women make positive contributions to the board decision-making process. As a result, increasing the number of women on boards improves the quality of decisions made by the board. 

Given the benefits increased numbers of women on boards can produce for companies and countries’ lacklustre interest in quotas, this article canvasses methods by which boards can increase female representation without relying on quotas. As such, it looks to practices adopted by American football teams, Australian mentoring programs, and U.K. disclosure rules. It also examines existing workplace norms and practices which inhibit female labour participation. In doing so, it proposes alternative approaches by which Germany, and other countries can increase gender diversity on boards.

June 2, 2014 in Family, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)