March 21, 2024

Dear friends,

I founded WorkLife Law 25 years ago because employers were firing women and telling them it was because they were mothers, and federal courts were saying that wasn’t gender discrimination.

We’ve come a long way baby.

After 25 years as the Founding Director, I am passing to the next generation our work advancing legal protections for caregiving workers and students. Liz Morris, the Center’s Deputy Director, and Jessica Lee, its Senior Staff Attorney, will become co-directors of the Center for WorkLife Law this summer. Over the last decade, these two remarkable women have elevated to a new level the Center’s work promoting justice for pregnant people and family caregivers. With this mission safely in their hands, I will begin my next chapter as the Founding Director of the new Equality Action Center at UC Law SF, along with SVP Jamie Dolkas, and Research Director Rachel Korn.

Reflecting on the decades of work on caregiver discrimination, I am proud of what WorkLife Law has accomplished:

  • We created transformative legal protections that have helped millions of mothers, family caregivers, and pregnant and breastfeeding workers.
  • We pioneered the use of Title IX, forging powerful legal tools and best practices to ensure that pregnancy or parenthood does not derail students’ careers.
  • We changed the cultural narrative from one of mothers cheerfully “opting out,” to one of mothers pushed out by hostile workplaces.
  • We forged robust partnerships with government agencies, grassroots organizers, and cross-disciplinary service providers to make real changes, on the ground, nationwide.
  • We helped change the work/life field from one chiefly focused on white professionals, keeping race and class at the center of our work.

In all this work, we have been supported by the sustained brilliance of Cynthia Thomas Calvert, with whom I founded WorkLife Law so many years ago, and who will remain on the WorkLife Law team with Jessica and Liz.

We have also transformed diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practice, with work that has touched well over 100,000 employees and more than 60 companies. I, Jamie, and Rachel will continue this work at the Equality Action Center. Impacts of our Bias Interrupters work include:

  • Our Bias Interrupters webpage, with over 500,000 views
  • 35+ articles in Harvard Business Review.
  • Rigorous experiments in 20 companies proving that companies can make measurable, year-over-year progress on DEI goals, including:
    • Our bias workshop, which decreased from 27 points to zero the race/gender gap in who did the “office housework.”
    • Our “Tasking Tool,” which decreased from 13 points to zero the race/gender gap in who got access to career-enhancing technical work.
    • Other experiments that decreased bias in performance evaluations, hiring, and meetings.

The Equality Action Center (EAC) also will continue to run our leadership programs. For nearly 15 years we have run the highly acclaimed Leadership Academy for Women Partners— which has been called “life-changing”—and Women’s Leadership Edge, our corporate membership program that translates social science into actionable roadmaps.

We at EAC are also excited about our new Bridging the Diploma Divide initiative, which works to heal the class divides that are threatening our democracy.

WorkLife Law’s research, education, and legal advocacy programs will remain—and grow—under Jessica and Liz’s leadership. These include initiatives to:

Together, Jessica and Liz will bring their deep expertise, dedication, and passion to the mission of WorkLife Law and shepherd the organization into a new era.

Help us celebrate! We now have two organizations with the track record and the talent to help us move to a world without inequalities based on race, class and gender. Please visit and for the latest information and opportunities to get involved.

With gratitude and excitement,


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