Roberta M. Gubbins, Esq.
I Write Content--You Practice Law

Draft Three / blog

Discrimination against women is alive and well.

Every time I think discrimination against women is dying, something happens to me or a friend or a business associate that makes me aware it is still alive and well.

Recently a well-respected judge was at a business-networking event when a middle aged male lawyer came up to talk to her. She had recently ruled on a motion he brought before her court. His comment to her, after the usual hellos and how are yous, was to compliment her on her hair.

Would he have done that to a male judge? I think not. It was discourteous and uninformed at the least and a power play to try and put her in her place at the most offensive. To show that it was upsetting to her was to note that she brought it up among friends and supporters at this recent event.

The latest trend in social networking is to add videos. It is easy; you can do it with your smart phone. And, for whatever reason, people will push the button to see what comes up. I received a press release recently advertising a workshop for lawyers being sponsored by a law firm. In the middle of it was a video. I, of course, pushed the button.

It was a well-designed video showing the speakers and the site where the workshop was to take place. The problem was all the participants were white males. All in the navy suit, white shirt and red power tie. Not a female lawyer, an African-American lawyer, an Hispanic lawyer; you name the group, it was not there. I suspect that only white dudes will attend the workshop. It seems no others need apply.

I realize that change in behavior is difficult and takes time. I did think we were further along in being aware of discrimination, simply because our local legal and education community is so diverse. Clearly, I was wrong. Sadly, discrimination against women is, indeed, alive and well. We must continu to be vigilant to find it and root it out.

Roberta GubbinsComment