Women-focused organizations promoting co-working, networking, support, and other skills, to help women thrive in the workplace and other professional environments is facing backlash by men bringing lawsuits who say they are being unfairly excluded.
Most recently the women’s empowerment organization Ladies Get Paid, went public about getting hit with a gender-discrimination lawsuit. Ladies Get Paid is a for-profit organization that holds networking events and classes on negotiating salaries and raises, managing money, and building confidence.
According to Elizabeth Kristen, the director of Gender Equity and LGBT Rights Program at Legal Aid at Work and an expert on gender discrimination, “Targeting women’s empowerment events is an abuse of the law and part of the larger attack on the civil rights of vulnerable people that the Unruh Act was designed to protect”.
Chris Dolan of the Dolan Law Firm stated “the relevant distinction when it comes to such lawsuits is between using the Unruh Act to disrupt women’s empowerment organizations and using it to “interdict businesses” which advantage women while excluding men”.
The gender disparity gap can be demonstrated by 2015 statistics that show the gender wage gap in California stood at 16 cents on the dollar. For women of color, wage inequality is much worse. African American women in California make just 63 cents and Hispanic women less than 43 cents for every dollar white non-Hispanic men make.
This is a fundamental unfairness.