Just 20 years ago, in most states a woman could not sign an apartment
lease, get a credit rating, or apply for a loan unless her husband or a male
relative agreed to share the responsibility. Similarly, a 1965 study found that
fifty one percent of men though women were "temperamentally unfit for
management." There can be no doubt that we have progressed a long way from
these ideas in the last three decades. However, it is also unquestionable that
women in the work force are still discriminated against, sexually harassed, paid
less than men, and suffer from occupational sex segregation and fears of failure
as well as fears of success. We will address all of these concerns in this
paper, and look at some well-known court cases as illustrations.
Anyone who thinks sex discrimination is a thing of the past only has to
ask Muriel Kraszewski or Ann Hopkings to learn differently.
worked for State Farm Insurance Company for twelve years and was the leading
candidate for an important promotion. She was denied the promotion because, her
employers said, she had no college degree and was too much under the control of
her husband. Kraszewski sued the company and won her case, after a nine year
battle, in late January 1988. She was given what may be the largest sex-bias
award in history: up to two hundreds of millions for 1,113 other female State
Farm employees with similar complaints, and $433,000 for Kraszewski her-self.
Ann Hopkings was one of Price Waterhouse's top young executives. She
had the best record for getting and maintaining big accounts, but when she came
up for a partnership in 1982, she was denied because several male partners had
evaluated her as "too macho." They advised her to walk, talk, and dress...