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Policy and Research Fellow
Mikayla Boginsky is the Policy and Research Fellow at the Center for WorkLife Law. Mikayla serves as the project manager for the Center’s ongoing Bias Interrupters research partnerships, assists the research director with experimental design, implementation, and analysis, and promotes key findings through social media, and articles written for both popular and academic audiences.
Her interest in employment law was born during a summer internship at the SF Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. While supporting the senior investigators in the enforcement unit, she saw firsthand the insidious effects of implicit and explicit biases on women’s opportunities for advancement in their careers. Mikayla has also interned at the National Lawyers Guild SF Bay Area Chapter, where she worked primarily on launching an immigrants’ rights educational video series. Through these formative experiences, Mikayla has developed a passion for promoting gender and racial equity. Mikayla received a BA from the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond.
Senior Program Associate
Joahna Cervantes is the Program Associate at the Center for WorkLife Law. Joahna assists in managing outreach and partnerships with external stakeholders, plans special events and oversees long-term projects. Before joining WorkLife Law, Joahna was a Program Coordinator at Girls Inc. of Alameda County. As the Program Coordinator, Joahna connected high school girls with summer internships, developed workshops on women in the workplace and partnered with organizations and professional women to provide mentoring opportunities. While at Girls Inc., she explored more about the common experience many professional women live through in the workplace, especially women of color. Her passion for gender and racial equity stems from her academic background and her own personal experience as a Latina. Joahna graduated cum laude from Saint Mary’s College of California, where she majored in Politics and minored in Women and Gender Studies. Her time in college exposed her to great internships with organizations such as Mujeres Entre Mundos, Fair Trade USA and the San Ramon Unified School District.
Development & Communications Specialist
Chelsey Crowley is the Center for WorkLife Law’s Development & Communications Specialist, managing our women’s leadership programming including our annual flagship program, the Hastings Leadership Academy for Women. Prior to joining WLL, she worked at the Center for the Study of Women at UCLA, an internationally recognized center for research on gender, sexuality, and women’s issues, where she worked in areas of both research and publications. She has also interned at Home Street People’s Ministry, a small grassroots organization in Salt River, South Africa, focused on community youth and issues of hunger and poverty. A student of international human rights, Chelsey graduated Phi Theta Kappa from Chaffey College and magna cum laude from UCLA, with high honors and distinction.
SVP of Strategy and Research
Jamie Dolkas is the Center for WorkLife Law’s SVP of Strategy and Research and an Adjunct Law Professor at UC Hastings College of the Law. Jamie is an attorney specializing in employment and civil rights law, with a focus on sex discrimination in employment and education. She leads WorkLife Law’s women’s leadership initiatives, including Hastings Leadership Academy for Women and Women’s Leadership Edge. She also teaches a Leadership for Lawyers course at UC Hastings with Professor Joan Williams, a professional skills course that gives law students tools for career success.
Prior to joining WorkLife Law, Jamie was a Staff Attorney at Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), a national civil rights organization dedicated to advancing gender equity in education and employment, where her practice focused on sex discrimination litigation, best practices training, and legislative advocacy.
Jamie has written several publications, including Expecting A Baby, Not A Lay-Off: Why Federal Law Should Require the Reasonable Accommodation of Pregnant Workers (ERA 2012), and a chapter in the anthology, The Opt Out Revolution Revisited (WorkLife Law 2012), which she co-authored with Professor Joan Williams. Jamie graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley, and cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She also completed the Women’s Policy Institute, a year-long legislative advocacy training program for women leaders.
Juliana Franco is a Staff Attorney at the Center for WorkLife Law. Juliana works to advance gender equity and workers’ rights nationwide.
Prior to joining WorkLife Law, Juliana was an attorney at Legal Aid at Work, where her work focused on the employment rights of new parents, pregnant women, caregivers, and survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. As a fellow with Legal Aid at Work’s Wage Recovery Project, Juliana helped construction workers and day laborers recover unpaid wages through the use of mechanic’s liens, wage claims with the Labor Commissioner, and litigation. Through the use of trainings and clinics, Juliana educated workers and the community about different avenues for wage recovery, as well as reasonable accommodations and leave.
Juliana is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Dr. Rachel KornView
Director of Research on Organization Bias
Rachel Korn is the Director of Research on Organization Bias at the Center for WorkLife Law. Rachel is a Social Psychologist with a background in quantitative research methods and survey design. Her research interests include motivation and goals, particularly within the field of stereotypes and discrimination. She has published her psychological research collaboratively in peer-review journals such as Frontiers in Psychology and book chapters.
Prior to joining WorkLife Law, Rachel was a Research Consultant at Circadia Labs, where she conducted research on empirical projects examining motivation in dreams using natural language processing. She also worked as Research Director for a city council campaign in Rochester, New York.
Rachel holds a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Rochester. She received her Bachelor’s degree at Virginia Tech.
Senior Staff Attorney & Pregnant Scholar Initiative Director
Jessica Lee is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for WorkLife Law, and Director of the Center’s Pregnant Scholar Initiative, the nationwide legal resource center for pregnant and parenting students. Jessica’s research and advocacy advances gender and racial equity in the workplace and in education, and she is a nationally-recognized expert on the laws at the intersection of employment, education, and maternal and infant health.
Jessica provides a wide scope of partner organizations with know-your-rights training and strategic tools. Model legislation co-drafted by Jessica has been introduced in Congress and at the state level, she regularly advises state and local enforcement agencies, and Jessica has guided dozens of educational institutions through drafting and implementing family-responsive policies. She also provides know-your-rights resources and trainings to educate parents and change-makers on the legal rights of caregivers in the workplace and in education–translating complicated legal issues into approachable and useful tools for thousands of non-lawyers. During the COVID-19 crisis, Jessica has used her expertise to advance pandemic-related policies to support parents and other caregivers, and she manages the Center’s free legal helpline.
Jessica’s work has been covered by a variety of press, from the NY Times to the BBC, and her writing has appeared in publications ranging from Harvard Business Review and The Chronicle of Higher Education to law reviews and medical journals.
Prior to joining the Center, Jessica was a Bertha Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where her work focused on a range of human rights issues, including humanitarian law violations, discrimination, and freedom of speech and information. Her previous work also includes research and advocacy in support of women in the criminal justice system and women facing discrimination and human rights violations internationally. Jessica earned her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.
Liz Morris (she/her) is the deputy director of the Center for WorkLife Law, where she leads the Center’s legal team that advances gender, racial, and class equity in the workplace and education. Liz’s advocacy seeks to build legal rights for pregnant and breastfeeding people, mothers, fathers, and other family caregivers struggling to take care of their loved ones while making ends meet. Liz is a recognized expert in the employment laws intersecting family, gender, health, and care.
Liz partners closely with grassroots advocates, healthcare providers, and public officials to develop employment-focused policy solutions to disparities in economic security, health outcomes, and wellbeing. She also directly counsels workers in crisis through the Center’s free legal helpline. Liz’s original research and amicus briefs filed in federal court have meaningfully contributed to the expansion of legal rights for working families. Model legislation drafted by Liz and her colleagues has been introduced in Congress, and she has testified as an expert witness in the California legislature. Her writing has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Slate, Huffington Post, and scholarly journals. She speaks frequently at national conferences, has appeared on NPR, and is regularly quoted by media ranging from The New York Times and The Washington Post, to Working Mother and Elle.
Prior to joining the Center for WorkLife Law, Liz represented working people in class action lawsuits challenging abusive employment practices. She also represented unions in the labor movement. Liz co-taught Advanced Employment Law for six years at the University of California, Hastings Law. She is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and received her J.D. from Stanford Law School.
Liz’s greatest achievement, challenge, and source of joy has been raising her two children with her husband.
Isha Patel is the Program Associate at the Center for WorkLife Law. Isha helps with day-to-day operations, planning events, overseeing long-term projects, and supporting WorkLife Law’s directors.
Prior to joining WorkLife Law, Isha held a variety of research and communications internships at nonprofits and organizations such as the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Fair Trials, and the Human Rights Center at Berkeley Law. Within such experiences, Isha found her interest in human rights and equity, especially as it pertains to and intersects with gender and race. These work experiences, along with her own lived experience as a first-generation South Asian woman and academic background, solidified her passion for gender and racial equity. Isha recently graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley, in which she earned a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Human Rights and certificate in Design Innovation.
Joan C. WilliamsView
Described as having “something approaching rock star status” in her field by The New York Times Magazine, Joan C. Williams has played a central role in reshaping the conversation about work, gender, and class over the past quarter century. Williams is a Distinguished Professor of Law, Hastings Foundation Chair, and Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law. Williams’ path-breaking work helped create the field of work-family studies and modern workplace flexibility policies.
Williams’ 2014 book What Works for Women at Work (co-written with daughter Rachel Dempsey) was praised by The New York Times Book Review: “Deftly combining sociological research with a more casual narrative style, What Works for Women at Work offers unabashedly straightforward advice in a how-to primer for ambitious women.” Following its success, Sheryl Sandberg and LeanIn.org asked Joan to create short videos sharing the strategies discussed in the book. The videos have been downloaded over 975,000 times and are featured by Virgin Airlines as in-flight entertainment, seen literally around the world. Most recently, Williams co-authored a workbook companion to What Works for Women at Work, available now from NYU Press.
Williams founded Gender Bias Bingo, a web-based project aimed at providing information and tools on gender bias to professors. Williams has explored the parallels and differences between gender and racial bias in two reports. The first, “Double Jeopardy? Gender Bias Against Women in Science” has been shared over 40,000 times in the media, and the second, “Climate Control? Gender and Racial Bias in Engineering” was co-authored by the Society for Women Engineers and surveyed over 3,000 engineers.
Williams is one of the 10 most cited scholars in her field. She has authored 11 books, over 90 academic articles, and her work has been covered in publications from Oprah Magazine to The Atlantic and Slate to Fox News. Her awards include the Families and Work Institute’s Work Life Legacy Award (2014), the American Bar Foundation’s Outstanding Scholar Award (2012), the ABA’s Margaret Brent Women Award for Lawyers of Achievement (2006), and the Distinguished Publication Award of the Association for Women in Psychology (2004) (with Monica Biernat and Faye Crosby). In 2008, she gave the Massey Lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard. Her Harvard Business Review article, “What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class” has been read over 3.7 million times and is now the most read article in HBR’s 90-plus year history. She is the author of White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America.
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Cynthia Thomas CalvertView
Cynthia Thomas Calvert, a nationally-recognized employment lawyer, researcher, and writer, is a senior advisor to the Center on family responsibilities discrimination (FRD). She co-authored, with Joan Williams and Gary Phelan, the only legal treatise on FRD: FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES DISCRIMINATION (Bloomberg BNA 2014 & supplement 2016). She was the Center’s deputy director until 2010, when she founded Workforce 21C to help employers manage today’s evolving workforce. Through consulting and training, she works with companies to prevent FRD, advance women, implement nonstigmatized flexible work programs, and create inclusive workplace cultures. Cynthia co-founded and co-directed the Project for Attorney Retention with Williams. She and Williams wrote Flex Success: The Lawyer’s Guide to Balanced Hours (WLL Press 2011) and Solving The Part-Time Puzzle: The Law Firm’s Guide to Balanced Hours (NALP 2004). She has been quoted in and written articles for numerous national publications, and speaks frequently about FRD, bias, flexible work arrangements, diversity and inclusion, and advancement of women. Cynthia practices employment law in the District of Columbia and Maryland. She was a partner with the D.C. litigation firm of Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, LLP (now part of Baker Botts LLP). She later had her own employment law practice in which she counseled businesses on compliance. She is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and a former clerk for the Honorable Thomas Penfield Jackson (D.D.C.).