Monthly Archives: February 2016

When Life Experience = Feminism

I found this article by Jill Filipovic in the New York Times to be worthy of consideration, well worthy of it in fact. Feminism has taken a new approach, much more engaged. And that’s good. But…

That experience starts to change a few more years into the work force. By 35, those same college-educated women are making 15 percent less than their male peers. Women’s earnings peak between ages 35 and 44 and then plateau, while men’s continue to rise.

What starts out as a near 50-50 professional split among new lawyers, for example, becomes a big gap: Women are just 17 percent of equity partners at law firms generally, according to the National Association of Women Lawyers.

Filipovic notices the inequality in her law firm and in the demographics of management generally. She notices it in how a mediocre male is hired and promoted instead of a well-qualified female and how that hasn’t changed at all. Read the essay, it’s worth it.

In jobs that followed, managers would remark that they wanted “more women” and proceed to reject qualified candidates. (Similar dynamics took place with minority candidates.) There were always reasons — not the right cultural fit, not the right experience, a phenomenon of unintentional sexism now well documented in controlled studies. I watched as men with little or irrelevant experience were hired and promoted, because they had such great ideas, or they fit in better. “We want a woman,” the conclusion seemed to be, ‘just not this woman.’