Friday, May 22, 2015

Elizabeth Wurtzel on Big Law's Gender Problem

The controversial writer offers video observations here.  

May 22, 2015 in Women lawyers, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 15, 2015

a gender gap for parents

From the NYT: 

When they become parents, many couples want to share child-care responsibilities equally, says Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, a professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University. But in a recent study, she found that moms shoulder much more of the additional work when a baby is born — and, perhaps more surprising, that parents aren’t necessarily aware of the discrepancy.

Along with her co-authors Jill Yavorsky and Claire Kamp Dush, Dr. Schoppe-Sullivan analyzed data on how 182 straight, dual-income couples spent their time before and after they had a child.

And, the results: 

They found big differences between the couples’ estimates of how they spent their time and the evidence provided by the time diaries. Men and women both thought they spent about 30 more hours per week on paid work, housework, and child care combined after they had a child than they had before. But according to the time diaries, women actually spent about 21 hours more. Men added just 12.5 hours.

May 15, 2015 in Family, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

ACLU calls for inquiry into Hollywood gender bias

From the NYT:

Grumblings that Hollywood is a man’s world have percolated for decades and are borne out in grim figures: Women directed only 4 percent of top-grossing films over the last dozen years. Now this apparent truism is being challenged as a violation of civil rights.

On Tuesday the American Civil Liberties Union asked state and federal agencies to investigate the hiring practices of major Hollywood studios, networks and talent agencies for what the organization described as rampant and intentional gender discrimination in recruiting and hiring female directors.

“Women directors aren’t working on an even playing field and aren’t getting a fair opportunity to succeed,” said Melissa Goodman, director of the L.G.B.T., Gender and Reproductive Justice Project at the A.C.L.U. of Southern California. “Gender discrimination is illegal. And, really, Hollywood doesn’t get this free pass when it comes to civil rights and gender discrimination.”

May 13, 2015 in Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 11, 2015

"Hillary Clinton says U.S. ranks only 65th in world for gender pay equity"

From PolitiFact: 

Hillary Clinton, who wants to become the first woman ever to win the presidency of the United States, gave an address recently at the Women in the World Summitthat touched on the gap in pay between men and women in the United States.

It’s "hard to believe that so many women are still paid less for men than the same work, with even wider gaps for women of color. If you doubt what I say, look to the World Economic Forum, hardly a hotbed of feminist thought," Clinton said at the April 23, 2015, summit. "Their rankings show that the United States is 65th out of 142 nations and other territories on equal pay. Imagine that. We should be No. 1."

But is it true?  

We found a more complex picture than Clinton’s comments showed. One study that surveyed executives supported her point, but another study of wage data actually undermined it. 

May 11, 2015 in Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Get the Facts: Statistics on Women in the Law

ABA Commission on Women, A Current Glance at Women in the Law (July 2014).

Women are:

  • 34% of the legal profession
  • 44.8% of associates 
  • 17% of equity partners
  • 20% of all partners
  • 4% of managing partners at BigLaw
  • 16% of general counsels
  • 47% of law students
  • 46% of law review leaders
  • 20% of law deans
  • 45.7% of associate deans
  • 66% of assistant deans
  • 24% of the federal judiciary
  • 27% of the state judiciary
  • and women lawyers make 78.9% of what men make

May 7, 2015 in Equal Employment, Women lawyers, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Men, faking it on the job

From the NYT:

Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.

Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.

 

May 5, 2015 in Manliness, Masculinities, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 4, 2015

"A Professor Finds Gender Bias on Wall Street"

From the WSJ: 

Men and women have different experiences when it comes to Wall Street careers. And those differences fascinate Lily Fang.

Dr. Fang, an associate professor of finance on the Singapore campus of the business school Insead, has spent the past five years or so delving into how gender affects the career-development paths of stock-research analysts on Wall Street. What she and co-author Sterling Huang of Singapore Management University found was that the networking and personal connections that male analysts rely on so heavily to get ahead are much less useful for women in similar jobs.

May 4, 2015 in Business, Theory, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sixth Circuit Holds Employees Cannot be Fired as Retaliation for Complaining to Sexually Harassing Boss

ABA J, Workers Who Complain to Sexually Harassing Boss are Protected from Retaliation, Appeals Court Says

Employees who tell their bosses to stop sexually harassing them are engaging in protected activity and are protected from retaliation, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The decision on Wednesday by the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals creates a circuit split, according to Law360 (sub. req.) and Law.com(sub. req.).

The decision upheld a $1.5 million award to four employees at New Breed Logistics in Memphis who say they were fired after complaining to the harassing warehouse supervisor. Three of the employees were women who say they were harassed and a fourth was a man who complained on their behalf.

The company had argued it shouldn’t be liable because there was no evidence that company higher-ups were aware of the supervisor’s conduct.

April 28, 2015 in Equal Employment, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Gendered Impact of the Retirement Deficit

Wash Post, Why the Retirement Crisis is also a Woman's Crisis

But here’s the dot that few have connected: The retirement savings crisis is also a women’s crisis.

 

That’s because women retire with two-thirds the savings of men, live six to eight years longer and have higher medical costs. Plus, 80 percent of women are single in their final years.

 

And it may be getting worse: Women’s labor-force participation is dropping, which suggests we’re moving in the wrong direction, considering that retirement savings tend to be driven by lifetime wages.

 

By looking at this issue through the gender lens, the solutions take on a decidedly different character. They become less about an inevitable, looming wealth transfer and more about increasing the economic engagement of women. And thus the focus of the national discussions about advancing women in the workplace, the focus moves from we-should-do-this-because-it’s-the-fair-thing-to-do to we-should-do-this-because-it-helps-solve-a-ridiculously-large-problem.

April 25, 2015 in Workplace | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, April 24, 2015

"Kleiner Tells Pao: Drop Case or Face $1 Million Legal Bill"

From Bloomberg Business:

Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers offered to drop its bid for legal costs after defeating Ellen Pao’s gender bias claims if she forgoes an appeal.

The firm filed its $1 million reimbursement request a month after a jury soundly rejected the former Kleiner junior partner’s claims of discrimination and retaliation and demand for $16 million in damages.

And: 

“KPCB has offered to waive all legal costs due to the firm should Ellen Pao choose to bring this legal matter to a close,” Christina Lee, a spokeswoman for Kleiner, said in an e-mail. “We believe that women in technology would be best served by having all parties focus on making progress on the issues of gender diversity outside of continued litigation.”

 

 

 

April 24, 2015 in Masculinities, Technology, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Equal Pay Day--From FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.COM

Statistical analysis from Fivethirtyeight.com about Equal Pay Day: 

Tuesday, April 14, is the 19th annual Equal Pay Day. The day is a symbolic representation of the gender pay gap: The average woman would have had to work all last year and into April this year to earn as much as the average man did in 2014 alone. But speaking in averages isn’t always the best way to understand the wage gap. Factors such as race, education and workweek hours can drastically widen (and narrow) the difference between men’s and women’s pay.

For example, the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning nonprofit think tank, looked at the hourly wages for men and women across income percentiles and found that at every decile, men outearned women in 2014. The gap is largest at the 95th percentile, with women earning only 79 percent of what men earn in the same income level.1 The narrowing of the wage gap for low-income earners is largely due to the minimum wage, which is the same for men and women. But the lowest-wage occupations remain disproportionately female.

Happy Unequal Pay Day, ladies.

April 15, 2015 in Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hillary Clinton on Gender

From WIRED:

As Clinton takes another shot at becoming the country’s first female president, it is already clear that this time around, she plans to put women’s issues front and center in an attempt to appeal to female voters. Among the many Americans profiled in the video, the majority are women, from working mothers to expectant ones, signaling that Clinton plans to make issues of gender inequality, which she has been working on since stepping down as Secretary of State in 2013, key to her campaign.

 

 

 

 

April 13, 2015 in Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 3, 2015

"Justice Department Sues University in Oklahoma for Discrimination Against Transgender Professor"

From Slate:

 The Justice Department filed suit on Monday against an Oklahoma university alleging the school discriminated against a transgender professor. “Rachel Tudor was hired as a tenure-track assistant professor in the English department at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2004, after applying as a man with a traditionally male name, according to the lawsuit filed Monday,” the Washington Post reports. “Then in 2007, Tudor told school officials that he would become a woman during that academic year, took the name Rachel, and began wearing women’s clothes and a traditionally female hairstyle.”

And: 

“The complaint said Tudor taught in the English department and was terminatedfrom the university in 2011 after the school denied her tenure,” Reuters reports. “A lawyer for Tudor said it was the first time the university had denied an English professor's application for tenure and promotion after a favorable tenure recommendation from a promotion committee and the department chair.” The DOJ suit alleges that someone in the university’s human resources department told Tudor that the school’s vice president for academic affairs had inquired about whether Tudor could be fired because her gender transition offended his religious beliefs.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University said in a statement: “The University is confident in its legal position and its adherence to all applicable employment laws." 

 

April 3, 2015 in LGBT, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Ellen Pao

Ellen Pao recently lost her high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit.  The case was big news because it brought to public attention the glaring dearth of women in the tech industry, and whether such dearth might be caused by prejudice.  

A NYT background story on the case.  Some commentary by Fortune magazine.  A discussion by CNET of Pao's post-verdict tweets.  Some comments by Prof. Tracy Thomas and I in the Daily Princetonian (Pao had graduated from Princeton).  

March 30, 2015 in Technology, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Punitive Damages Permitted in Ellen Pao Case

california-judeg-gender-bias.jpg

Feb. 24, 2015: Ellen Pao, center, with her attorney, Therese Lawless, left, leaves the Civic Center Courthouse during a lunch break in her trial. (AP)

From Fox News: 

SAN FRANCISCO –  A California trial judge ruled Saturday that a woman suing a Silicon Valley venture capital firm in a high-profile gender bias case may seek punitive damages that could add tens of millions of dollars to the $16 million in lost wages and bonuses she is pursuing.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn denied a request by lawyers for Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to have Ellen Pao's demand for unspecified punitive damages thrown out. Pao, the interim CEO of the news and social networking site Reddit, claims she was passed over for a promotion at the firm because she is a woman and then fired in 2012 after she complained.

Kahn said there was enough evidence for the jury considering Pao's lawsuit to conclude that Kleiner Perkins acted with malice, oppression or fraud, which in California is the legal threshold for awarding damages that are designed to punish and deter particularly bad behavior.

March 23, 2015 in Technology, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Gender and Compensation

A trio of economists have uploaded on SSRN a study about executive compensation and gender.  The abstract:  

We document three new facts about gender differences in executive compensation. First, female executives receive lower share of incentive pay in total compensation relative to males. This difference accounts for 93% of the gender gap in total pay. Second, the compensation of female executives displays lower pay-performance sensitivity. A $1 million dollar increase in firm value generates a $17,150 increase in firm specific wealth for male executives and a $1,670 increase for females. Third, female executives are more exposed to bad firm performance and less exposed to good firm performance relative to male executives. We find no link between firm performance and the gender of top executives. We discuss evidence on differences in preferences and the cost of managerial effort by gender and examine the resulting predictions for the structure of compensation. We consider two paradigms for the pay-setting process, the efficient contracting model and the “managerial power” or skimming view. The efficient contracting model can explain the first two facts. Only the skimming view is consistent with the third fact. This suggests that the gender differentials in executive compensation may be inefficient.

March 16, 2015 in Scholarship, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

"Quotas for Women on Corporate Boards"

Irene Velkova, University College London, has uploaded "Quotas for Women on Corporate Boards: The Challenge for Europe." The abstract reads:

“Bringing more women on boards is not just the right thing to do. More women on boards is the bright thing to do!”, argues Viviane Reding, the Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship in 2009-2014 when promoting European Union quota law. And then she adds: “…I do not like them (quotas) either. But I like the results they bring.” 

The debate for higher female representation on corporate boards has become particularly intensive during the recent financial crisis. Scholars advocate that women are more risk-averse, more engaged with longer-term issues and tend to draw more attention to governance and ethics. Thus, it is suggested that due to the behavioural differences between men and women, more gender – balanced boards would have prevented a number of financial collapses. This assertion has triggered more detailed analyses of current statistics for women on boards in the European Union. The numbers that are found follow the global pattern. Women are well underrepresented on boards and even less visible as CEOs or chairpersons of companies. In particular, at the end of 2013 women held 17.8% of the seats on boards in Europe, 16.6% in the US, 12.3% in Canada, 12.3% in Australia and 17.1% in South Africa. Women serve as chairpersons on 3.2% of the biggest companies in Europe , 3.1% in the US, 4.2% in Canada, 3% in Australia and 5.5% in South Africa. The country in the world that excels with the highest number of female directors on boards is Norway, which has achieved 42% women on boards by 2013. These strikingly low ratios and the general finding in the empirical literature that women bring positive change to firms’ performance have generated a phenomenal drive for promoting initiatives that strive to increase the number of women on boards.

 

March 4, 2015 in Scholarship, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Bahayi is a symbol of freedom for the women she drives (Washington Post)

From the Independent UK: 

Sara Bahayi is Afghanistan’s first female taxi driver in recent memory, and she is believed to be the only one actively working in the country. She’s 38, unmarried and outspoken. And in a highly patriarchal society, where women are considered second-class citizens and often abused, Ms Bahayi is brazenly upending gender roles.

Every day, she plies her trade in a business ruled by conservative men. She endures condescending looks, outright jeers, even threats to her life. Most men will not enter her taxi, believing that a woman should never drive for a man.

Yet she earns $10 (£6.50) to $20 a day, enough to provide for her 15 relatives, including her ailing mother. She relies on ferrying women shackled by traditions and fear, who vicariously live their dreams of freedom through her.

March 2, 2015 in International, Violence Against Women, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Black Feminist Critique of Arquette's Oscar Speech

From Salon:

 Black women have a long history of advocating for fair wages and access to decent employment opportunities for African-American communities. In her recent remarks at the Academy Awards championing the fight against wage inequality, Patricia Arquette seemed wholly unaware of these histories, elaborating backstage that it was now time for all other groups to fight for white women, because they had fought for everybody else.

And: 

In 1920 or thereabouts, famed Washington, D.C., educator Nannie Helen Burroughs helped to found the National Association of Wage Earners as both an advocacy group and a training resource for working class black women. Addressing employment inequality and wage inequality for newly freed black women entering the workforce after Emancipation, and later for black women from the South who had migrated North, was a hallmark of black women’s organizing in the late 19th century and the early 20th century. At the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Fannie Barrier Williams, a socialite, club woman and budding political theorist told the crowd, “in the item of employment, colored women bear a distressing burden of mean and unreasonable discrimination.” Still, she told them, “we believe this country is large enough and the opportunities for all kinds of success are great enough to afford our women a fair chance to earn a respectable living.” In 1925, Gertrude Elise McDougald, an organizer and teacher in New York City, helped to found the Trade Union Committee for Organizing Negro Workers, in order to encourage African-American solidarity with labor and discourage strike-breaking as the pathway to work.

February 25, 2015 in Race, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Drafting Pleadings for a Public Audience

NYT, Lawsuits' Lurid Details Draw an Online Crowd

Intimate, often painful allegations in lawsuits — intended for the scrutiny of judges and juries — are increasingly drawing in mass online audiences far from the courthouses where they are filed.

 

When a former saleswoman at Zillow sued the real estate website in December, describing X-rated messages from male colleagues, her court filing drew hundreds of thousands of readers, causing an instant public relations crisis for the company.

 

The papers in a sexual harassment suit filed last summer against Tinder, the dating app, circulated in a popular Buzzfeed post. And a lawyer for a fired University of Minnesota-Duluth women’s hockey coach who is planning a lawsuit knows what the initial complaint will need: a clear narrative and damning details.

 

More and more, the first court filings in gender-related suits, often allegations that inspire indignation, are winning wide readerships online before anyone steps foot in a courtroom.

 

As a result, plaintiffs are finding themselves with unexpected support — and greater-than-ever power to ruin reputations. Panicky defendants are left trying to clear their names from accusations that sometimes are unsubstantiated. Judges and law professors, watching the explosion of documents online, fear such broad exposure is throwing court proceedings off track and changing the nature of how civil suits are meant to unfold.

February 24, 2015 in Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)