Why bother writing a book that condemns employer acts of discrimination against working women? Women's problems in the workplace have been largely resolved, have they not? Haven't women already achieved workplace equality? These are typical of the reactions I have encountered while writing this book, and they appear to reflect the current opinion of women and men alike.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and various state anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination in employment based on sex, as well as on race, national origin, and religion. 1 Coincident with the advent of Title VII, sweeping economic and social trends induced, if not compelled, women's entry into the national workforce in vast numbers, and the female proportion of the workforce has continued to increase to this day. Women have gained access to positions formerly barred to them, and the past four decades have witnessed the elevation of women to corporate and professional levels formerly unheard of. During this time, discrimination against women in the workplace has abated.
Federal and state anti-discrimination laws have performed a critical role in expanding workplace opportunities for women. As an old cigarette commercial exulted, “You've come a long way, baby.” Yet women are still denied full equality in the workplace. Even though they can now secure powerful professional, academic, and corporate positions once reserved for men, the everpresent “glass ceiling” still deters the advancement of large segments of the female workforce. Sex discrimination may have subsided, but it surely has not