Gender bias work solutions are generated at U.C. Hastings School of Law by a professor dedicating herself to work-life balance for all people. The focus of her work is designing concrete practical interventions to shift work behaviors towards gender equality. This video is not filled with abstractions. Yes, it relies on some sophisticated sociological studies, but that data is critical to knowing both the problem and solution. Here’s a practical example: The retailer, the Gap, has a very high turnover for its floor sales personnel at its brick and mortar stores. The professor linked up with the Director of H.R. for the Gap, to rethink the “on call” scheduling of employees. Obviously, this practice was highly disruptive of home and family duties. Designing a new scheduling method that brought more predictability and customizing for the employee helped both the employee and the business. The solution addressed turnover and attracted more skilled employees.
The professor’s work includes studies of hourly non-professional workers in low paying jobs. Her work also examines the flat-lining and lowered wages of blue-collar workers in shrinking industries. You might find her comments at about the 50 (fifty) minute mark especially interesting as she addresses the anger percolating in the last presidential campaign. This anger must be acknowledged and addressed, without insult or attack.
Gender bias work solutions require more than cosmetic repeated surface efforts through policies and training. Those practices have not changed gender bias work practices. What is needed are systemic interventions with learned skill sets. For example, many women report that in a meeting a woman may float an idea, but receive no positive reinforcement. If the same idea in the same meeting is floated later by a man who basically repeats it, the idea and the man receive enthusiastic reception. A learned intervention for a manager would be to diplomatically acknowledge that the male added something to the female’s original idea, then to invite the female to take the idea even a step further.
For my employment law colleagues, two closing points: 1) this video allows Continuing Legal Education Credit through this Cal Lawyer website and 2) Plaintiff attorney litigation is one of the mechanisms the professor sees as a tool of practical social change. We are part of the gender bias solution.