California Western to Host Innovative Symposium on Gender Discrimination

Top Quote Judges, academics, practitioners, and businesspeople from across the U.S. descend on California Western School of Law to illuminate causes and discuss possible solutions to legal, yet unequal treatment of women. End Quote
  • San Diego, CA (1888PressRelease) April 21, 2018 - Much has been written about the ways in which women suffer legally cognizable adverse treatment. Less attention, however, has been paid to a subtler, yet pernicious form of unequal treatment, where women may not experience adverse outcomes that are actionable under anti-discrimination or other laws, but nonetheless may find themselves hindered in their ability to advance and flourish. These myriad behaviors, policies, and practices lead to "Gender Sidelining"—a term recently coined by a group of law professors at California Western School of Law—whereby women experience obstacles that the law does not (and arguably should not) proscribe.

    California Western hosts the inaugural Gender Sidelining Symposium on April 26-27, 2018. The symposium brings together judges, academics, practitioners, and businesspeople from across the United States to highlight examples of and understand the process by which Gender Sidelining occurs in a variety of settings and contexts. Discussions will explore how this phenomenon plays out across a variety of areas, examining Gender Sidelining in the workplace, in business and entrepreneurship, in academia, and within pop culture.

    The law has done much to outlaw overt gender discrimination at work, providing a legal framework within which female employees can vindicate concerns about gender-based hiring and promotion, discipline and pay, as well as concerns about sexual harassment at work.

    “There remains much ground to cover in securing gender equality,” says Jessica Fink, law professor at California Western and author of, “Gender Sidelining and the Problem of Unactionable Discrimination,” in the Stanford Law & Policy Review. “While the path to victory in court may remain obstacle-ridden for many women, the law at least provides a system for women who experience these harms. We need to start talking about gender sidelining. It is imperative that these issues remain at the forefront of our legal and social discourse in order to actualize gender equity.”

    Thursday evening includes an academic panel featuring California Western’s law faculty, who introduce the concept of Gender Sidelining, a panel of esteemed judges who will weigh in on the topic, and a cocktail reception. Friday includes several themed salons that explore how Gender Sidelining manifests in a variety of areas, as well as a keynote luncheon with speaker Camille Nelson, Dean of American University Washington College of Law.

    The Gender Sidelining Symposium begins at 3:30 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, and resumes the next day at 8 a.m. All sessions will be held at California Western School of Law’s academic building located at 350 Cedar Street in downtown San Diego. Symposium fees are $25 for general registration and $10 for students with a valid student ID. Register online at

    For more information about the topic, the symposium, and the speakers, visit

    About California Western School of Law
    California Western School of Law is the independent, ABA/AALS-accredited San Diego law school that prepares graduates for the practice of law through a carefully sequenced program of study combining traditional legal theory with hands-on learning in real and simulated client environments.

    For six years in a row, California Western was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and Honor Roll with Distinction, in recognition of the school’s numerous community-focused projects including the California Innocence Project, Community Law Project, Mediation Clinic, and more. Students, faculty, and staff donate more than 20,000 pro bono and service hours each year to nonprofits, clinical programs, and law offices.

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