PLR Symposium 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016 -
8:30am to 3:30pm

John K. Pruellage Courtroom

Shattering the Glass Ceiling: The Status of Women in the Workplace and the Change Needed for Equality

The Glass Ceiling should be a dated concept, yet its reality still looms above working women. Join the Saint Louis University Public Law Review for a day focused on the various challenges and workplace inequalities facing women and the change needed to move beyond them. Speakers will address: wage gap, sexual harassment, discrimination in hiring, profession-specific challenges (including the medical, legal, and academic professions), and how roles within the home impact professional growth.

The event is open to the public. Please join us for a timely and important discussion.

6.1 MO CLE credits available


Opening Speaker and Panel One

Panel Two

Panel Three


Of Counsel, Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP, Washington, DC
"Women's Work is Never Done"

Carolyn L. Wheeler is Of Counsel with Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP, a Washington, DC firm specializing in employment discrimination and whistleblower cases. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Wheeler was an Assistant General Counsel in EEOC’s Office of General Counsel, Appellate Services Division for 25 years, and for 12 years served intermittently as the Acting Associate General Counsel. She supervised six attorneys who prepared briefs and argued appeals in EEOC cases, and who filed briefs as amicus curiae in cases raising important legal issues under EEOC’s statutes. For example, in recent years she worked with the Solicitor General’s Office on briefs filed in Crawford v. Metropolitan Gov’t of Memphis (retaliation against a harassment witness), Gross v. FBL Financial Servs. (age mixed motives), Ricci v. DeStefano (New Haven firefighters), Thompson v. North American Stainless (third party retaliation), Hosanna Tabor v. EEOC (ministerial exception), Vance v. Ball State (supervisor status for harassment liability purposes), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar (Title VII retaliation and mixed motives). Last year she worked with the Solicitor’s office on Mach Mining v. EEOC (reviewability of EEOC conciliation efforts), Young v. UPS (pregnancy and light duty), and EEOC v. Abercrombie and Fitch (religious accommodation). Ms. Wheeler joined the Commission in 1988, and before that she served for 3 years as Law Clerk to the Honorable Thomas Tang of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She graduated from the University of Montana School of Law and is a charter invited member of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court, the only inn comprised exclusively of appellate practitioners. Before attending law school, Ms. Wheeler taught English for 10 years at the Universities of Montana and Missouri. She earned her A.B. and M.A. degrees in English from the University of Missouri, and completed all course work toward a Ph.D. in American Intellectual History at the University of Montana. While teaching at the University of Montana, Ms. Wheeler pioneered and taught in an interdisciplinary women’s studies program.

Director, William C. Wefel Center for Employment Law;
Professor, Saint Louis University School of Law
Topic: "Stereotypes as Channels and the Social Model of Discrimination" 

Prof. McCormick earned her B.A. from Grinnell College and is an honors graduate of the University of Iowa School of Law. During law school, she was the managing editor of the Iowa Law Review and was named the Outstanding Woman Law Graduate.

Professor McCormick began her legal career as a staff attorney with the International Human Rights Law Institute, where she directed analysis and research of allegations of sexual violence committed during the war in what was formerly known as Yugoslavia. She then went to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, in which she litigated civil appeals in state and federal courts. She left the Illinois Attorney General’s Office to join the faculty at Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Prof. McCormick then moved on to Cumberland Law School at Samford University, before coming to SLU LAW.

Program Director Employment & Earnings, Institute for Women's Policy Research, Washington, DC
Topic: "The Gender Wage Gap: Why so Little Progress Towards Equal Pay?"

Ariane Hegewisch is Study Director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, an independent research institute in Washington, DC. She is responsible for IWPR’s research on earnings and workplace discrimination, and is a member of its Status of Women in the States and Job Training teams. She is a specialist in comparative human resource management, with a focus on policies and legislative approaches to facilitate greater work life reconciliation and gender equality, in the US and internationally. She is a member of the 2015-2016 Equal Employment Opportunities Commission’s Select Taskforce on Workplace Harassment. From 2004 to 2006 she was an international scholar at the Center for WorkLife Law at American University/ UC Hastings School of Law.  Prior to coming to the USA she taught comparative European human resource management at Cranfield School of Management in the UK where she was a founding researcher of the Cranet Survey of International HRM, the largest independent survey of human resource management policies and practices, covering 25 countries worldwide. She began her career in local government in the UK as a policy researcher on women’s employment and training. She received a BSc Economics from the London School of Economics, and an MPhil Development Studies from the University of Sussex, UK.

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology & Population Research Center, 
University of Texas (Austin)
Topic: “Work-Family Policies, Relationship Ideals, and the Persistence of Gender Inequality: Survey-Experimental Evidence”

David Pedulla is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and a Faculty Research Associate of the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include social stratification, economic and organizational sociology, and experimental methods. Specifically, his research agenda examines the consequences of non-standard, contingent, and precarious employment in the United States as well as the processes leading to race and gender labor market inequality. David’s research has appeared in American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, and other academic journals. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the UC-Davis Center for Poverty Research and has been covered by The New York Times, National Public Radio, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, and other media outlets. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy from Princeton University.

Regional EEOC Director, St. Louis
Topic: "Getting a Foot in the Door: Continuing Barriers in Hiring for Women"

Andrea G. Baran, a 15-year attorney with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), has been appointed regional attorney of the agency's St. Louis District, which includes offices in St. Louis, Kansas City and Oklahoma City, the agency announced today.

A graduate of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Baran began her career at the EEOC in 1999 as a trial attorney in the agency's Kansas City Area Office. In 2010 she became a supervisory trial attorney in the Phoenix District Office. She has litigated many cases during her time with the EEOC, recovering millions of dollars for victims of discrimination and obtaining changes to employers' policies and practices to prevent future discriminatory treatment. Baran has also tried jury cases in Missouri, Kansas, and Arizona involving sexual harassment, age and race discrimination, retaliation, and national origin harassment. She has been a frequent speaker regarding the EEOC and employment discrimination and has trained lawyers and EEOC investigators regarding trial practice, negotiations, systemic discrimination, and other issues.

"Throughout Ms. Baran's legal career, she has demonstrated her commitment to fighting employment discrimination," said EEOC General Counsel David Lopez. "She has a superior understanding of the geographical jurisdiction of the St. Louis District Office and pre-existing strong relationships with the plaintiffs' bar and some non-profit advocacy groups. I look forward to working with her as she takes on this new position."

Baran said, "I look forward to returning to the St. Louis District and continuing the agency's work to eradicate discrimination and ensure equal opportunities for all workers. I am honored by General Counsel Lopez's selection of me and by the opportunity to once again serve communities in this part of the Midwest."

Visiting Assistant Professor, DePaul University, Chicago
Topic: "What is Sexual Harassment?: An Empirical Examination of Judges Versus Ordinary People"

Jill D. Weinberg, J.D., Ph.D. is a sociologist, lawyer,and an affiliated Scholar at the American Bar Foundation and will be joining the faculty at Tufts University Summer 2016. Her research lies in the empirical study of law and how people understand law in their everyday lives. She is widely published in journals such as Southern California Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Sociological Methods & Research, and Law & Social Inquiry. She is an associate editor of Law & Social Inquiry

Sedey Harper Westhoff, P.C., St. Louis
Topic: "The Limitations of Discrimination Law as a Tool for Advancing Women’s Economic Rights"

Mary Anne Sedey has practiced law in St. Louis for more than 30 years. Her practice is devoted exclusively to representing employees in work-related disputes. Ms. Sedey has been recognized every year since 1993 as one of The Best Lawyers in America. Best Lawyers named her the best Labor and Employment Lawyer in St. Louis for 2010. For more than ten years St. Louis Magazine has named her to its Best Lawyers list. In October, 2009, the St. Louis Business Journal highlighted Ms. Sedey in “Katz’s Attorney Sedey ‘willing to go up against big boys.’”  In August, 2007 Human Resource Executive magazine called her one of The Top 10 Plaintiffs Attorneys to Fear the Most. 

Ms. Sedey is a nationally recognized employment attorney. She was President of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), the national professional organization for the 3000 lawyers who represent employees in employment and civil rights disputes, from 1995 to 1998. She served on NELA’s Board for twelve years, and founded its St. Louis chapter. She was appointed a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 1996 and served two terms on the Executive Board of the College. Ms. Sedey is a past-president of Workplace Fairness, a not-for-profit organization created to provide information, education and assistance to workers and their advocates and to promote public policies that advance employee rights.

Ms. Sedey was the Vice-Chair of the Missouri Bar Labor and Employment Committee and was a member of the Judicial Commission for the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit for a number of years. She is a member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the St. Louis Women Lawyers’ Association and the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys.

Ms. Sedey has taught trial practice at St. Louis University Law School and speaks around the country on employment law issues and trial tactics for the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the National Employment Lawyers Association, state bar organizations and AAJ affiliates.

Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship; Professor, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Topic: "American Hustle: Diversity at U.S. Law Firms"

Joyce Sterling is Professor of Legal Ethics and Legal Profession and Associate Dean of Faculty Development at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.  She has almost two decades to the study of the legal profession and legal education. Her recent research has focused on the problems facing women in legal careers compared to their  male counterparts and issues associated with the downturn in legal education.  Her most recent articles appear in the Journal of Legal Education (“Buyers Remorse? An Empirical Assessment of the Desirability of a Lawyer Career,” (2013); Florida International Law Review, “Navigating the Gap: Reflections on Two Decades of Studying Gender Disparity in Law,” (2013); and Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, “Parenthood Status and Compensation in Law Practice” (2013).  Since 1997, Professor Sterling has been one of the co-principal investigators on the “After the JD” study, the first national longitudinal study of careers of lawyers in the U.S.  Professor Sterling has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford Law School (Academic Year 1985-86), Visiting Professor at University of Cincinnati Law School (Fall 1990) a Visiting Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation (Academic Year 2002-03), and Visiting Professor at Southwestern Law School (2008).  Professor Sterling is called upon to give lectures about gender in the legal profession and the results of the After the JD  study.  Recently she has addressed the NALP Foundation meeting on the Third Wave Results of AJD (2014), Association of American Law Schools (2014,2016), ABA Mid-Year Meeting (2014) and the Law and Society Association (2014).

Associate Professor, Saint Louis University School of Law
Associate Professor, Saint Louis University, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies
Topic: "Change from Within: Best Practices for  Achieving Gender Equity in the University Setting"

Professor Constance Z. Wagner’s primary appointment is in the Saint Louis University School of Law, where she specializes in business law and international law. She holds a secondary appointment in the Saint Louis University, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, where she is a member of the faculty advisory committee, the graduate studies committee and the faculty research group. She has taught seminars on women’s human rights at the School of Law. She has lectured at national and international law conferences on the gender dimensions of international trade treaties and gender mainstreaming in international economic institutions and published law review articles and book chapters on those topics. Professor Wagner holds degrees from Columbia University School of Law (J.D. with honors in foreign and comparative law), Universitaet Konstanz, Juristische Fakultaet (LL.M. with honors) and Northwestern University College of Arts & Sciences (B.A. with university and economics department honors). Currently, Professor Wagner is co-chairing the Saint Louis University Gender Equity Task Force. 

Professor, Department of Sociology, Washington University in St. Louis
Topic: "Complicating Women's Work: How Gender, Race, and Occupational Status Matter"

Adia Harvey Wingfield is Professor of sociology at Washington University in St. Louis. She specializes in research that examines the social processes that perpetuate inequalities at work. In particular, she is an expert on the workplace experiences of minority workers in predominantly white professional settings, and specifically on black male professionals in occupations where they are in the minority. Dr. Wingfield has lectured internationally on her research in this area, and her work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. She is the author of several books, most recently No More Invisible Man: Race and Gender in Men's Work (Temple University Press), and has won multiple awards from sections of the American Sociological Association. 





Carolyn L. Wheeler: “Women’s Work is Never Done” + Q&A

9:55 - 11:20 AM: PANEL ONE
Moderator: Susan A. FitzGibbon
Senior Advisor, William C. Wefel Center for Employment Law; Professor, Saint Louis University School of Law

9:55 - 10:15 AM
Marcia L. McCormick: "Stereotypes as Channels and the Social Model of Discrimination" 

10:15 - 10:35 AM
Ariane Hegewisch: "The Gender Wage Gap: Why so Little Progress Towards Equal Pay?"

10:35 - 10:55 AM
David S. Pedulla: “Work-Family Policies, Relationship Ideals, and the Persistence of Gender Inequality: Survey-Experimental Evidence”

10:55 - 11:20 AM

11:20 AM - 12:45 PM: PANEL TWO
Moderator: Lisa Sonia Taylor
Director of Multicultural Affairs and Outreach; Instructor, Saint Louis University School of Law

11:20 - 11:40 AM
Andrea Baran: "Getting a Foot in the Door: Continuing Barriers in Hiring for Women"

11:40 AM - 12 PM
Jill Weinberg: "What is Sexual Harassment?: An Empirical Examination of Judges Versus Ordinary People"

12 - 12:20 PM
Mary Anne Sedey: "The Limitations of Discrimination Law as a Tool for Advancing Women’s Economic Rights"

12:20 - 12:45 PM

12:45 - 2 PM: BREAK

2 - 3:30 PM: PANEL THREE
Moderator: Miriam A. Cherry
Professor, Saint Louis University School of Law

2 - 2:20 PM
Constance Z. Wagner: "Change from Within: Best Practices for  Achieving Gender Equity in the University Setting"

2:20 - 2:40 PM
Joyce Sterling: "American Hustle: Diversity at U.S. Law Firms"

2:40 - 3 PM
Adia Harvey Wingfield: "Complicating Women's Work: How Gender, Race, and Occupational Status Matter"

3 - 3:30 PM


Falethia Hawthorne