test
Lean Out?
Posted 02.04.16
1024
author_image
Jonathan A. Segal
Partner
Share

I am pleased to share my latest blog post for SHRM.

Sometimes clients ask me relative to gender:

1.  Would it be gender discrimination if we do X?

2.  Does the law require that we do Y?

Of course, we need to start with the legal imperative.  But, as HR professionals, we know we must transcend the legal imperative and focus on the business necessity (and moral obligation) to ensure gender equality.

For example, some subtle harassment may not be severe or pervasive enough to rise to the level of actionable harassment.  But it very well may create a place where women don’t want to work so they take their talent and contacts to a competitor.

Another example:  the law generally does not mandate that employers provide flexibility to help employees with work-life management.  But rigid employers will lose talented women (and men) to employers who get that flexibility and accountability are not inconsistent if managed correctly.

To paraphrase Sheryl Sandberg’s message in Lean In, organizations cannot survive, let alone thrive, if they exclude half of the pool of talent.  So, HR professionals lean in hard on the business case for gender equality or you may find successful women and women of promise “leaning out” rather than “leaning in.”

Facebook0Twitter0Google+0Pinterest0
About Jonathan A. Segal
1024
author_image
Jonathan A. Segal is a partner at Duane Morris LLP in the Employment Group. He is also the managing principal of the Duane Morris Institute. The Duane Morris Institute provides training for human resource professionals, in-house counsel, and other leaders at client sites and by way of webinar on myriad employment, leadership labor, benefits and immigration topics. Jonathan has served intermittently as a consultant to the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C. for more than 20 years, providing training on employment issues to federal judges around the country. Jonathan also has provided training on harassment on behalf of the EEOC as well as providing training on diversity to members of the United States intelligence agencies. Jonathan is also frequently a featured speaker at national, state and local human resource, business and legal conferences, including conferences sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Pennsylvania State Chamber of Business and Industry. Jonathan’s practice focuses on maximizing compliance and minimizing legal risk. Jonathan’s particular areas of emphasis include: equal employment opportunity in general and gender equality in particular: social media; wage and hour; performance management; talent acquisition; harassment prevention and correction; and non-competes and other ways to protect your business. You can find him on Twitter @Jonathan_HR_Law .